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Do You Know What Boule Diagnostics AB (publ)’s (STO:BOUL) P/E Ratio Means?

Petra Goodwin

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll show how you can use Boule Diagnostics AB (publ)’s (STO:BOUL) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Based on the last twelve months, Boule Diagnostics’s P/E ratio is 21.93. That means that at current prices, buyers pay SEK21.93 for every SEK1 in trailing yearly profits.

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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 Boule Diagnostics:

P/E of 21.93 = SEK53.4 ÷ SEK2.43 (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2018.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that buyers have to pay a higher price for each SEK1 the company has earned over the last year. 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 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.

It’s nice to see that Boule Diagnostics grew EPS by a stonking 52% in the last year. And its annual EPS growth rate over 5 years is 54%. I’d therefore be a little surprised if its P/E ratio was not relatively high.

How Does Boule Diagnostics’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 Boule Diagnostics has a lower P/E than the average (39.4) P/E for companies in the medical equipment industry.

OM:BOUL PE PEG Gauge January 17th 19

Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that Boule Diagnostics 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. It is arguably worth checking if insiders are buying shares, because that might imply they believe the stock is undervalued.

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

The ‘Price’ in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. In other words, it does not consider any debt or cash that the company may have on the balance sheet. 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).

How Does Boule Diagnostics’s Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Net debt totals just 0.5% of Boule Diagnostics’s market cap. It would probably trade on a higher P/E ratio if it had a lot of cash, but I doubt it is having a big impact.

The Bottom Line On Boule Diagnostics’s P/E Ratio

Boule Diagnostics’s P/E is 21.9 which is above average (15.3) in the SE market. While the company does use modest debt, its recent earnings growth is impressive. So it is not surprising the market is probably extrapolating recent growth well into the future, reflected in the relatively high P/E ratio.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. 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 be able to find a better stock than Boule Diagnostics. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.