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Here's What JOST Werke AG's (ETR:JST) P/E Ratio Is Telling Us

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Simply Wall St
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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 JOST Werke AG's (ETR:JST) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. JOST Werke has a price to earnings ratio of 8.43, based on the last twelve months. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 11.9%.

View our latest analysis for JOST Werke

How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for JOST Werke:

P/E of 8.43 = €23.80 ÷ €2.82 (Based on the year to June 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.

How Does JOST Werke's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

One good way to get a quick read on what market participants expect of a company is to look at its P/E ratio. We can see in the image below that the average P/E (14.3) for companies in the machinery industry is higher than JOST Werke's P/E.

XTRA:JST Price Estimation Relative to Market, October 9th 2019
XTRA:JST Price Estimation Relative to Market, October 9th 2019

Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that JOST Werke shareholders think it will struggle to do as well as other companies in its industry classification. While current expectations are low, the stock could be undervalued if the situation is better than the market assumes. 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

Probably the most important factor in determining what P/E a company trades on is the earnings growth. When earnings grow, the 'E' increases, over time. And in that case, the P/E ratio itself will drop rather quickly. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.

JOST Werke's earnings per share fell by 23% in the last twelve months.

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

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

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).

How Does JOST Werke's Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Net debt totals 25% of JOST Werke's market cap. That's enough debt to impact the P/E ratio a little; so keep it in mind if you're comparing it to companies without debt.

The Bottom Line On JOST Werke's P/E Ratio

JOST Werke trades on a P/E ratio of 8.4, which is below the DE market average of 19.6. With only modest debt, it's likely the lack of EPS growth at least partially explains the pessimism implied by the 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. 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.

But note: JOST Werke 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.