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Here's How P/E Ratios Can Help Us Understand ANSYS, Inc. (NASDAQ:ANSS)

Simply Wall St

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to ANSYS, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:ANSS), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. What is ANSYS's P/E ratio? Well, based on the last twelve months it is 41.34. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 2.4%.

View our latest analysis for ANSYS

How Do I Calculate ANSYS's Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for ANSYS:

P/E of 41.34 = $216.04 ÷ $5.23 (Based on the year to June 2019.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio implies that investors pay a higher price for the earning power of the business. 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 ANSYS's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. The image below shows that ANSYS has a lower P/E than the average (45.8) P/E for companies in the software industry.

NasdaqGS:ANSS Price Estimation Relative to Market, October 3rd 2019

Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that ANSYS 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. You should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

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. So while a stock may look expensive based on past earnings, it could be cheap based on future earnings.

ANSYS increased earnings per share by a whopping 45% last year. And its annual EPS growth rate over 5 years is 13%. With that performance, I would expect it to have an above average P/E ratio.

Remember: P/E Ratios Don't Consider The Balance Sheet

Don't forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. 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).

So What Does ANSYS's Balance Sheet Tell Us?

ANSYS has net cash of US$632m. That should lead to a higher P/E than if it did have debt, because its strong balance sheets gives it more options.

The Bottom Line On ANSYS's P/E Ratio

ANSYS trades on a P/E ratio of 41.3, which is above its market average of 17.4. The excess cash it carries is the gravy on top its fast EPS growth. So based on this analysis we'd expect ANSYS to have a high P/E ratio.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. People often underestimate remarkable growth -- so investors can make money when fast growth is not fully appreciated. 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.

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.