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Here's How P/E Ratios Can Help Us Understand Turners Automotive Group Limited (NZSE:TRA)

Simply Wall St

This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll look at Turners Automotive Group Limited's (NZSE:TRA) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company's share price. Based on the last twelve months, Turners Automotive Group's P/E ratio is 9. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 11%.

See our latest analysis for Turners Automotive Group

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 Turners Automotive Group:

P/E of 9 = NZ$2.36 ÷ NZ$0.26 (Based on the year to March 2019.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each NZ$1 of company 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 Turners Automotive Group Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. If you look at the image below, you can see Turners Automotive Group has a lower P/E than the average (12.6) in the specialty retail industry classification.

NZSE:TRA Price Estimation Relative to Market, September 16th 2019

Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that Turners Automotive Group shareholders think it will struggle to do as well as other companies in its industry classification. 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. That's because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the 'E' in the equation. 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.

Turners Automotive Group saw earnings per share decrease by 10% last year. But EPS is up 5.4% over the last 5 years.

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

It's important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. So it won't reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.

While growth expenditure doesn't always pay off, the point is that it is a good option to have; but one that the P/E ratio ignores.

How Does Turners Automotive Group's Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Turners Automotive Group has net debt worth a very significant 114% of its market capitalization. This level of debt justifies a relatively low P/E, so remain cognizant of the debt, if you're comparing it to other stocks.

The Verdict On Turners Automotive Group's P/E Ratio

Turners Automotive Group trades on a P/E ratio of 9, which is below the NZ market average of 19. The P/E reflects market pessimism that probably arises from the lack of recent EPS growth, paired with significant leverage.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. If it is underestimating a company, investors can make money by buying and holding the shares until the market corrects itself. 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: Turners Automotive Group 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.