U.S. markets close in 6 hours 26 minutes
  • S&P 500

    4,178.63
    -6.84 (-0.16%)
     
  • Dow 30

    34,068.45
    -132.22 (-0.39%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    14,022.61
    -29.73 (-0.21%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    2,262.67
    +5.60 (+0.25%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    63.10
    -0.03 (-0.05%)
     
  • Gold

    1,768.20
    -12.00 (-0.67%)
     
  • Silver

    25.81
    -0.30 (-1.15%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.2032
    +0.0052 (+0.43%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.6120
    +0.0390 (+2.48%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3957
    +0.0117 (+0.85%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    108.2210
    -0.5620 (-0.52%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    56,385.64
    +1,856.60 (+3.40%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,274.57
    -24.39 (-1.88%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,008.38
    -11.15 (-0.16%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    29,685.37
    +2.00 (+0.01%)
     

Is Ero Copper Corp.'s (TSE:ERO) High P/E Ratio A Problem For Investors?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Simply Wall St
·4 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). To keep it practical, we'll show how Ero Copper Corp.'s (TSE:ERO) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. Based on the last twelve months, Ero Copper's P/E ratio is 41.24. That means that at current prices, buyers pay CA$41.24 for every CA$1 in trailing yearly profits.

View our latest analysis for Ero Copper

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 Ero Copper:

P/E of 41.24 = $11.486 ÷ $0.278 (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2020.)

(Note: the above calculation uses the share price in the reporting currency, namely USD and the calculation results may not be precise due to rounding.)

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 Does Ero Copper's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. As you can see below, Ero Copper has a higher P/E than the average company (16.7) in the metals and mining industry.

TSX:ERO Price Estimation Relative to Market May 11th 2020
TSX:ERO Price Estimation Relative to Market May 11th 2020

Its relatively high P/E ratio indicates that Ero Copper shareholders think it will perform better than other companies in its industry classification. Clearly the market expects growth, but it isn't guaranteed. So investors should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or 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. When earnings grow, the 'E' increases, over time. That means unless the share price increases, the P/E will reduce in a few years. So while a stock may look expensive based on past earnings, it could be cheap based on future earnings.

Ero Copper's earnings made like a rocket, taking off 70% last year.

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

One drawback of using a P/E ratio is that it considers market capitalization, but not the balance sheet. 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 investing in growth. That means taking on debt (or spending its cash).

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.

Is Debt Impacting Ero Copper's P/E?

Ero Copper has net debt worth 14% of its market capitalization. It would probably deserve a higher P/E ratio if it was net cash, since it would have more options for growth.

The Bottom Line On Ero Copper's P/E Ratio

Ero Copper trades on a P/E ratio of 41.2, which is multiples above its market average of 12.0. The company is not overly constrained by its modest debt levels, and its recent EPS growth is nothing short of stand-out. So to be frank we are not surprised it has a high P/E ratio.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. People often underestimate remarkable growth -- so investors can make money when fast growth is not fully appreciated. So this free report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.

But note: Ero Copper 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.