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Don't Sell Aegean Airlines S.A. (ATH:AEGN) Before You Read This

Simply Wall St

Today, we'll introduce the concept of the P/E ratio for those who are learning about investing. We'll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to Aegean Airlines S.A.'s (ATH:AEGN), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Based on the last twelve months, Aegean Airlines's P/E ratio is 8.36. That means that at current prices, buyers pay €8.36 for every €1 in trailing yearly profits.

See our latest analysis for Aegean Airlines

How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

Price to Earnings Ratio = Price per Share ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)

Or for Aegean Airlines:

P/E of 8.36 = €7.95 ÷ €0.95 (Based on the year to March 2019.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each €1 of company earnings. That isn't necessarily good or bad, but a high P/E implies relatively high expectations of what a company can achieve in the future.

Does Aegean Airlines Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. You can see in the image below that the average P/E (8.4) for companies in the airlines industry is roughly the same as Aegean Airlines's P/E.

ATSE:AEGN Price Estimation Relative to Market, September 15th 2019

That indicates that the market expects Aegean Airlines will perform roughly in line with other companies in its industry. The company could surprise by performing better than average, in the future. Checking factors such as director buying and selling. could help you form your own view on if that will happen.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Probably the most important factor in determining what P/E a company trades on is the earnings growth. 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. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.

Aegean Airlines increased earnings per share by an impressive 13% over the last twelve months. And it has bolstered its earnings per share by 6.1% per year over the last five years. So one might expect an above average P/E ratio.

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

Don't forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.

Such spending might be good or bad, overall, but the key point here is that you need to look at debt to understand the P/E ratio in context.

How Does Aegean Airlines's Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

With net cash of €280m, Aegean Airlines has a very strong balance sheet, which may be important for its business. Having said that, at 49% of its market capitalization the cash hoard would contribute towards a higher P/E ratio.

The Bottom Line On Aegean Airlines's P/E Ratio

Aegean Airlines has a P/E of 8.4. That's below the average in the GR market, which is 17.5. Not only should the net cash position reduce risk, but the recent growth has been impressive. The relatively low P/E ratio implies the market is pessimistic.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. As value investor Benjamin Graham famously said, 'In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.' So this free report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.

You might be able to find a better buy than Aegean Airlines. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.