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Is Edenred SA's (EPA:EDEN) High P/E Ratio A Problem For Investors?

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Simply Wall St
·4 min read
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This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). To keep it practical, we'll show how Edenred SA's (EPA:EDEN) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. Based on the last twelve months, Edenred's P/E ratio is 36.55. In other words, at today's prices, investors are paying €36.55 for every €1 in prior year profit.

Check out our latest analysis for Edenred

How Do You Calculate Edenred's P/E Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Edenred:

P/E of 36.55 = EUR47.52 ÷ EUR1.30 (Based on the year to December 2019.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio implies that investors pay a higher price for the earning power of the business. 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.

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

One good way to get a quick read on what market participants expect of a company is to look at its P/E ratio. The image below shows that Edenred has a higher P/E than the average (17.1) P/E for companies in the it industry.

ENXTPA:EDEN Price Estimation Relative to Market, February 28th 2020
ENXTPA:EDEN Price Estimation Relative to Market, February 28th 2020

Edenred'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 further research is always essential. I often monitor director buying and selling.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Generally speaking the rate of earnings growth has a profound impact on a company's P/E multiple. If earnings are growing quickly, then the 'E' in the equation will increase faster than it would otherwise. And in that case, the P/E ratio itself will drop rather quickly. And as that P/E ratio drops, the company will look cheap, unless its share price increases.

Edenred increased earnings per share by an impressive 21% over the last twelve months. And its annual EPS growth rate over 5 years is 12%. With that performance, you might expect an above average P/E ratio.

A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank

It's important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. In other words, it does not consider any debt or cash that the company may have on the balance sheet. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.

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 Edenred's Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Edenred has net debt worth 10% of its market capitalization. This could bring some additional risk, and reduce the number of investment options for management; worth remembering if you compare its P/E to businesses without debt.

The Bottom Line On Edenred's P/E Ratio

Edenred trades on a P/E ratio of 36.6, which is above its market average of 17.5. Its debt levels do not imperil its balance sheet and it is growing EPS strongly. So on this analysis it seems reasonable that its P/E ratio is above average.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. People often underestimate remarkable growth -- so investors can make money when fast growth is not fully appreciated. So this free visualization of the analyst consensus on future earnings could help you make the right decision about whether to buy, sell, or hold.

But note: Edenred 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).

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.

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. Thank you for reading.