This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll show how you can use Ryder System, Inc.'s (NYSE:R) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Based on the last twelve months, Ryder System's P/E ratio is 8.08. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 12%.
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 Ryder System:
P/E of 8.08 = $48.17 ÷ $5.96 (Based on the year to June 2019.)
Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?
A higher P/E ratio implies that investors pay a higher price for the earning power of the business. That is not a good or a bad thing per se, but a high P/E does imply buyers are optimistic about the future.
How Does Ryder System's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
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 Ryder System has a lower P/E than the average (17.1) in the transportation industry classification.
Ryder System'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. 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. Earnings growth means that in the future the 'E' will be higher. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. And as that P/E ratio drops, the company will look cheap, unless its share price increases.
Ryder System saw earnings per share decrease by 60% last year. But EPS is up 3.5% over the last 5 years.
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. 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.
Is Debt Impacting Ryder System's P/E?
Ryder System's net debt is considerable, at 293% of its market cap. 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 Ryder System's P/E Ratio
Ryder System's P/E is 8.1 which is below average (17.3) in the US market. Given meaningful debt, and a lack of recent growth, the market looks to be extrapolating this recent performance; reflecting low expectations for the future.
Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. 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 be able to find a better stock than Ryder System. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.
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 email@example.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.