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This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). To keep it practical, we'll show how Bryn Mawr Bank Corporation's (NASDAQ:BMTC) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. Looking at earnings over the last twelve months, Bryn Mawr Bank has a P/E ratio of 13.17. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 7.6%.
How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?
The formula for P/E is:
Price to Earnings Ratio = Share Price ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)
Or for Bryn Mawr Bank:
P/E of 13.17 = $38.53 ÷ $2.93 (Based on the year to March 2019.)
Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?
A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each $1 of company earnings. That isn't a good or a bad thing on its own, but a high P/E means that buyers have a higher opinion of the business's prospects, relative to stocks with a lower P/E.
How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios
Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. When earnings grow, the 'E' increases, over time. 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.
In the last year, Bryn Mawr Bank grew EPS like Taylor Swift grew her fan base back in 2010; the 80% gain was both fast and well deserved. And earnings per share have improved by 42% annually, over the last three years. So you might say it really deserves to have an above-average P/E ratio.
Does Bryn Mawr Bank Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?
We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. As you can see below Bryn Mawr Bank has a P/E ratio that is fairly close for the average for the banks industry, which is 13.
That indicates that the market expects Bryn Mawr Bank will perform roughly in line with other companies in its industry. If the company has better than average prospects, then the market might be underestimating it. I inform my view byby checking management tenure and remuneration, among other things.
Remember: P/E Ratios Don't Consider The Balance Sheet
It's important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. 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 expenditure might be good or bad, in the long term, but the point here is that the balance sheet is not reflected by this ratio.
Bryn Mawr Bank's Balance Sheet
Bryn Mawr Bank has net debt equal to 38% of its market cap. You'd want to be aware of this fact, but it doesn't bother us.
The Verdict On Bryn Mawr Bank's P/E Ratio
Bryn Mawr Bank's P/E is 13.2 which is below average (18.1) in the US market. The company hasn't stretched its balance sheet, and earnings growth was good last year. If the company can continue to grow earnings, then the current P/E may be unjustifiably low.
Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. If the reality for a company is not as bad as the P/E ratio indicates, then the share price should increase as the market realizes this. 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 Bryn Mawr Bank. 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 email@example.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.