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Here's How P/E Ratios Can Help Us Understand The Buckle, Inc. (NYSE:BKE)

Simply Wall St

The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll show how you can use The Buckle, Inc.'s (NYSE:BKE) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Based on the last twelve months, Buckle's P/E ratio is 11.14. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 9.0%.

View our latest analysis for Buckle

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 Buckle:

P/E of 11.14 = $21.38 ÷ $1.92 (Based on the trailing twelve months to August 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 necessarily good or bad, but a high P/E implies relatively high expectations of what a company can achieve in the future.

Does Buckle Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

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 (15.5) for companies in the specialty retail industry is higher than Buckle's P/E.

NYSE:BKE Price Estimation Relative to Market, October 28th 2019

Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that Buckle 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. If you consider the stock interesting, further research is recommended. For example, I often monitor director buying and selling.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

If earnings fall then in the future the 'E' will be lower. That means even if the current P/E is low, it will increase over time if the share price stays flat. Then, a higher P/E might scare off shareholders, pushing the share price down.

Buckle saw earnings per share decrease by 3.3% last year. And EPS is down 11% a year, over the last 5 years. So it would be surprising to see a high P/E.

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. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.

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.

So What Does Buckle's Balance Sheet Tell Us?

Buckle has net cash of US$230m. This is fairly high at 22% of its market capitalization. That might mean balance sheet strength is important to the business, but should also help push the P/E a bit higher than it would otherwise be.

The Bottom Line On Buckle's P/E Ratio

Buckle's P/E is 11.1 which is below average (17.8) in the US market. Falling earnings per share are likely to be keeping potential buyers away, the healthy balance sheet means the company retains potential for future growth. If that occurs, the current low P/E could prove to be temporary.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. 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 report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.

But note: Buckle 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.