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Is Glen Burnie Bancorp's (NASDAQ:GLBZ) High P/E Ratio A Problem For Investors?

Simply Wall St

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The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to Glen Burnie Bancorp's (NASDAQ:GLBZ), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Based on the last twelve months, Glen Burnie Bancorp's P/E ratio is 20.18. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 5.0%.

View our latest analysis for Glen Burnie Bancorp

How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Glen Burnie Bancorp:

P/E of 20.18 = $10.5 ÷ $0.52 (Based on the year to March 2019.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

The higher the P/E ratio, the higher the price tag of a business, relative to its trailing earnings. All else being equal, it's better to pay a low price -- but as Warren Buffett said, 'It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.'

Does Glen Burnie Bancorp 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. You can see in the image below that the average P/E (12.8) for companies in the banks industry is lower than Glen Burnie Bancorp's P/E.

NasdaqCM:GLBZ Price Estimation Relative to Market, July 12th 2019

That means that the market expects Glen Burnie Bancorp will outperform other companies in its industry. Clearly the market expects growth, but it isn't guaranteed. So further research is always essential. I often monitor director buying and selling.

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 even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.

Glen Burnie Bancorp's 71% EPS improvement over the last year was like bamboo growth after rain; rapid and impressive. Having said that, if we look back three years, EPS growth has averaged a comparatively less impressive 4.7%. Regrettably, the longer term performance is poor, with EPS down 11% per year over 5 years.

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

One drawback of using a P/E ratio is that it considers market capitalization, but not the balance sheet. That means it doesn't take debt or cash into account. 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 Glen Burnie Bancorp's Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Net debt is 29% of Glen Burnie Bancorp's market cap. While it's worth keeping this in mind, it isn't a worry.

The Verdict On Glen Burnie Bancorp's P/E Ratio

Glen Burnie Bancorp's P/E is 20.2 which is above average (17.9) in its market. 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 have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. 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.' 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: Glen Burnie Bancorp 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).

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.