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Is Euro Ressources S.A.'s (EPA:EUR) High P/E Ratio A Problem For Investors?

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 Euro Ressources S.A.'s (EPA:EUR) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. Euro Ressources has a price to earnings ratio of 11.46, based on the last twelve months. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 8.7%.

View our latest analysis for Euro Ressources

How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

Price to Earnings Ratio = Price per Share Ã· Earnings per Share (EPS)

Or for Euro Ressources:

P/E of 11.46 = â‚¬3.03 Ã· â‚¬0.26 (Based on the year to September 2019.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

The higher the P/E ratio, the higher the price tag of a business, relative to its trailing 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.

How Does Euro Ressources's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. As you can see below Euro Ressources has a P/E ratio that is fairly close for the average for the metals and mining industry, which is 11.5.

That indicates that the market expects Euro Ressources will perform roughly in line with other companies in its industry. So if Euro Ressources actually outperforms its peers going forward, that should be a positive for the share price. I would further inform my view by checking insider buying and selling., among other things.

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. If earnings are growing quickly, then the 'E' in the equation will increase faster than it would otherwise. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. And as that P/E ratio drops, the company will look cheap, unless its share price increases.

Euro Ressources shrunk earnings per share by 2.8% last year. But EPS is up 4.3% over the last 3 years. And over the longer term (5 years) earnings per share have decreased 3.2% annually. So it would be surprising to see a high P/E.

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. So it won't reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. The exact same company would hypothetically deserve a higher P/E ratio if it had a strong balance sheet, than if it had a weak one with lots of debt, because a cashed up company can spend on growth.

While growth expenditure doesn't always pay off, the point is that it is a good option to have; but one that the P/E ratio ignores.

Euro Ressources's Balance Sheet

With net cash of â‚¬29m, Euro Ressources has a very strong balance sheet, which may be important for its business. Having said that, at 15% of its market capitalization the cash hoard would contribute towards a higher P/E ratio.

The Bottom Line On Euro Ressources's P/E Ratio

Euro Ressources's P/E is 11.5 which is below average (17.9) in the FR market. The recent drop in earnings per share would make investors cautious, the healthy balance sheet means the company retains potential for future growth. If that occurs, the current low P/E could prove to be temporary.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. 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. We don't have analyst forecasts, but you could get a better understanding of its growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

But note: Euro Ressources 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.