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Here's What Sonova Holding AG's (VTX:SOON) P/E Ratio Is Telling Us

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 Sonova Holding AG's (VTX:SOON) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Sonova Holding has a P/E ratio of 23.41, based on the last twelve months. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 4.3%.

See our latest analysis for Sonova Holding

How Do I Calculate Sonova Holding's Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Sonova Holding:

P/E of 23.41 = CHF225.00 ÷ CHF9.61 (Based on the year to September 2019.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each CHF1 of company 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'.

How Does Sonova Holding's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. The image below shows that Sonova Holding has a lower P/E than the average (32.4) P/E for companies in the medical equipment industry.

SWX:SOON Price Estimation Relative to Market, January 15th 2020

Sonova Holding's P/E tells us that market participants think it will not fare as well as its peers in the same industry. Since the market seems unimpressed with Sonova Holding, it's quite possible it could surprise on the upside. 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

Generally speaking the rate of earnings growth has a profound impact on a company's P/E multiple. That's because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the 'E' in the equation. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others -- and that may attract buyers.

Sonova Holding's earnings made like a rocket, taking off 51% last year. And earnings per share have improved by 24% annually, over the last three years. So we'd absolutely expect it to have a relatively high P/E ratio.

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

Don't forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. 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 Sonova Holding's Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Sonova Holding's net debt is 3.3% of its market cap. So it doesn't have as many options as it would with net cash, but its debt would not have much of an impact on its P/E ratio.

The Bottom Line On Sonova Holding's P/E Ratio

Sonova Holding's P/E is 23.4 which is above average (20.4) in its market. Its debt levels do not imperil its balance sheet and its EPS growth is very healthy indeed. So on this analysis a high P/E ratio seems reasonable.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. If the reality for a company is better than it expects, you can make money by buying and holding for the long term. 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.

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.