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# Don’t Sell Mondi plc (LON:MNDI) Before You Read This

This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll look at Mondi plc’s (LON:MNDI) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company’s share price. Mondi has a price to earnings ratio of 15, based on the last twelve months. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying £15 for every £1 in prior year profit.

### How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

Price to Earnings Ratio = Price per Share (in the reporting currency) ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)

Or for Mondi:

P/E of 15 = €20.85 (Note: this is the share price in the reporting currency, namely, EUR ) ÷ €1.39 (Based on the year to June 2018.)

### Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that buyers have to pay a higher price for each £1 the company has earned over the last year. That is not a good or a bad thing per se, but a high P/E does imply buyers are optimistic about the future.

### How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. Earnings growth means that in the future the ‘E’ will be higher. That means unless the share price increases, the P/E will reduce in a few years. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others — and that may attract buyers.

Mondi’s earnings per share grew by -7.8% in the last twelve months. And it has bolstered its earnings per share by 14% per year over the last five years.

### How Does Mondi’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. You can see in the image below that the average P/E (13) for companies in the forestry industry is lower than Mondi’s P/E.

Mondi’s P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward. Shareholders are clearly optimistic, but the future is always uncertain. So investors should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

### Don’t Forget: The P/E Does Not Account For Debt or Bank Deposits

The ‘Price’ in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. In other words, it does not consider any debt or cash that the company may have on the balance sheet. Theoretically, a business can improve its earnings (and produce a lower P/E in the future), by taking on debt (or spending its remaining cash).

Spending on growth might be good or bad a few years later, but the point is that the P/E ratio does not account for the option (or lack thereof).

### Mondi’s Balance Sheet

Mondi has net debt worth 24% of its market capitalization. That’s enough debt to impact the P/E ratio a little; so keep it in mind if you’re comparing it to companies without debt.

### The Bottom Line On Mondi’s P/E Ratio

Mondi’s P/E is 15 which is about average (16.1) in the GB market. Given it has some debt, and grew earnings a bit last year, the P/E indicates the market is expecting steady ongoing progress.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. If it is underestimating a company, investors can make money by buying and holding the shares until the market corrects itself. So this free report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.

But note: Mondi may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.