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Here's What The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc.'s (NYSE:IPG) P/E Ratio Is Telling Us

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This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll show how you can use The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc.'s (NYSE:IPG) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Based on the last twelve months, Interpublic Group of Companies's P/E ratio is 14.26. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 7.0%.

Check out our latest analysis for Interpublic Group of Companies

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 Interpublic Group of Companies:

P/E of 14.26 = $23.23 ÷ $1.63 (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 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 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 Interpublic Group of Companies 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 Interpublic Group of Companies has a lower P/E than the average (17.3) P/E for companies in the media industry.

NYSE:IPG Price Estimation Relative to Market, July 12th 2019

Interpublic Group of Companies's P/E tells us that market participants think it will not fare as well as its peers in the same industry. While current expectations are low, the stock could be undervalued if the situation is better than the market assumes. You should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. 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. So while a stock may look expensive based on past earnings, it could be cheap based on future earnings.

It's great to see that Interpublic Group of Companies grew EPS by 22% in the last year. And its annual EPS growth rate over 5 years is 18%. This could arguably justify a relatively high P/E ratio.

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

It's important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. That means it doesn't take debt or cash into account. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.

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 Interpublic Group of Companies's P/E?

Net debt is 37% of Interpublic Group of Companies's market cap. While it's worth keeping this in mind, it isn't a worry.

The Bottom Line On Interpublic Group of Companies's P/E Ratio

Interpublic Group of Companies's P/E is 14.3 which is below average (17.9) in the US market. The company hasn't stretched its balance sheet, and earnings growth was good last year. If the company can continue to grow earnings, then the current P/E may be unjustifiably low.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. 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. 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.

Of course you might be able to find a better stock than Interpublic Group of Companies. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.

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.