U.S. Markets closed

Is Matador Resources Company's (NYSE:MTDR) High P/E Ratio A Problem For Investors?

Simply Wall St

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll look at Matador Resources Company's (NYSE:MTDR) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company's share price. Looking at earnings over the last twelve months, Matador Resources has a P/E ratio of 10.25. In other words, at today's prices, investors are paying $10.25 for every $1 in prior year profit.

See our latest analysis for Matador Resources

How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Matador Resources:

P/E of 10.25 = $15.35 ÷ $1.5 (Based on the year to June 2019.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that buyers have to pay a higher price for each $1 the company has earned over the last year. 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 Matador Resources 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. As you can see below, Matador Resources has a higher P/E than the average company (9.3) in the oil and gas industry.

NYSE:MTDR Price Estimation Relative to Market, August 12th 2019

That means that the market expects Matador Resources will outperform other companies in its industry. Clearly the market expects growth, but it isn't guaranteed. So investors should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. Earnings growth means that in the future the 'E' will be higher. That means unless the share price increases, the P/E will reduce in a few years. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others -- and that may attract buyers.

Matador Resources's earnings per share fell by 7.1% in the last twelve months. But over the longer term (5 years) earnings per share have increased by 6.6%.

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

One drawback of using a P/E ratio is that it considers market capitalization, but not the balance sheet. In other words, it does not consider any debt or cash that the company may have on the balance sheet. 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.

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 Matador Resources's Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Matador Resources has net debt worth 80% of its market capitalization. If you want to compare its P/E ratio to other companies, you should absolutely keep in mind it has significant borrowings.

The Verdict On Matador Resources's P/E Ratio

Matador Resources's P/E is 10.3 which is below average (17.4) in the US market. When you consider that the company has significant debt, and didn't grow EPS last year, it isn't surprising that the market has muted expectations.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. 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 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 Matador Resources. 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 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.