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Here's How P/E Ratios Can Help Us Understand Banco de Sabadell, S.A. (BME:SAB)

Simply Wall St

The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to Banco de Sabadell, S.A.'s (BME:SAB), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. What is Banco de Sabadell's P/E ratio? Well, based on the last twelve months it is 7.02. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 14.2%.

Check out our latest analysis for Banco de Sabadell

How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Banco de Sabadell:

P/E of 7.02 = €1.03 ÷ €0.15 (Based on the year to September 2019.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

The higher the P/E ratio, the higher the price tag of a business, relative to its trailing earnings. All else being equal, it's better to pay a low price -- but as Warren Buffett said, 'It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.

Does Banco de Sabadell 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. If you look at the image below, you can see Banco de Sabadell has a lower P/E than the average (10.2) in the banks industry classification.

BME:SAB Price Estimation Relative to Market, December 6th 2019

Banco de Sabadell'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. 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. Earnings growth means that in the future the 'E' will be higher. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.

Banco de Sabadell's 170% EPS improvement over the last year was like bamboo growth after rain; rapid and impressive. Having said that, the average EPS growth over the last three years wasn't so good, coming in at 1.1%.

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

Don't forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. The exact same company would hypothetically deserve a higher P/E ratio if it had a strong balance sheet, than if it had a weak one with lots of debt, because a cashed up company can spend on growth.

Such expenditure might be good or bad, in the long term, but the point here is that the balance sheet is not reflected by this ratio.

Is Debt Impacting Banco de Sabadell's P/E?

Net debt totals 95% of Banco de Sabadell's market cap. This is a reasonably significant level of debt -- all else being equal you'd expect a much lower P/E than if it had net cash.

The Verdict On Banco de Sabadell's P/E Ratio

Banco de Sabadell's P/E is 7.0 which is below average (17.3) in the ES market. While the EPS growth last year was strong, the significant debt levels reduce the number of options available to management. If it continues to grow, then the current low P/E may prove to be unjustified.

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 visual report on analyst forecasts could hold the key to an excellent investment decision.

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.