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Here's What CPH Chemie + Papier Holding AG's (VTX:CPHN) P/E Ratio Is Telling Us

Simply Wall St

This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll look at CPH Chemie + Papier Holding AG's (VTX:CPHN) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company's share price. What is CPH Chemie + Papier Holding's P/E ratio? Well, based on the last twelve months it is 10.14. In other words, at today's prices, investors are paying CHF10.14 for every CHF1 in prior year profit.

See our latest analysis for CPH Chemie + Papier Holding

How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for CPH Chemie + Papier Holding:

P/E of 10.14 = CHF78.80 ÷ CHF7.77 (Based on the year to June 2019.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that buyers have to pay a higher price for each CHF1 the company has earned over the last year. 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 CPH Chemie + Papier Holding's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. We can see in the image below that the average P/E (11.5) for companies in the forestry industry is higher than CPH Chemie + Papier Holding's P/E.

SWX:CPHN Price Estimation Relative to Market, December 4th 2019

CPH Chemie + Papier Holding's P/E tells us that market participants think it will not fare as well as its peers in the same industry. Many investors like to buy stocks when the market is pessimistic about their prospects. It is arguably worth checking if insiders are buying shares, because that might imply they believe the stock is undervalued.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. That's because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the 'E' in the equation. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. And as that P/E ratio drops, the company will look cheap, unless its share price increases.

CPH Chemie + Papier Holding increased earnings per share by an impressive 14% over the last twelve months.

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

The 'Price' in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. 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.

Spending on growth might be good or bad a few years later, but the point is that the P/E ratio does not account for the option (or lack thereof).

Is Debt Impacting CPH Chemie + Papier Holding's P/E?

With net cash of CHF96m, CPH Chemie + Papier Holding has a very strong balance sheet, which may be important for its business. Having said that, at 20% of its market capitalization the cash hoard would contribute towards a higher P/E ratio.

The Verdict On CPH Chemie + Papier Holding's P/E Ratio

CPH Chemie + Papier Holding's P/E is 10.1 which is below average (19.4) in the CH market. The net cash position gives plenty of options to the business, and the recent improvement in EPS is good to see. The below average P/E ratio suggests that market participants don't believe the strong growth will continue.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. If it is underestimating a company, investors can make money by buying and holding the shares until the market corrects itself. So this free report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E 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.