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Is Owens-Illinois Inc’s (NYSE:OI) PE Ratio A Signal To Sell For Investors?

Brandon Murphy

Owens-Illinois Inc (NYSE:OI) is trading with a trailing P/E of 20x, which is higher than the industry average of 20x. While OI might seem like a stock to avoid or sell if you own it, it is important to understand the assumptions behind the P/E ratio before you make any investment decisions. Today, I will break down what the P/E ratio is, how to interpret it and what to watch out for. Check out our latest analysis for Owens-Illinois

Breaking down the Price-Earnings ratio

NYSE:OI PE PEG Gauge Mar 15th 18

P/E is a popular ratio used for relative valuation. By comparing a stock’s price per share to its earnings per share, we are able to see how much investors are paying for each dollar of the company’s earnings.

P/E Calculation for OI

Price-Earnings Ratio = Price per share ÷ Earnings per share

OI Price-Earnings Ratio = $22.53 ÷ $1.125 = 20x

On its own, the P/E ratio doesn’t tell you much; however, it becomes extremely useful when you compare it with other similar companies. Our goal is to compare the stock’s P/E ratio to the average of companies that have similar attributes to OI, such as company lifetime and products sold. A common peer group is companies that exist in the same industry, which is what I use. OI’s P/E of 20x is higher than its industry peers (20x), which implies that each dollar of OI’s earnings is being overvalued by investors. Therefore, according to this analysis, OI is an over-priced stock.

A few caveats

Before you jump to the conclusion that OI should be banished from your portfolio, it is important to realise that our conclusion rests on two assertions. The first is that our “similar companies” are actually similar to OI, or else the difference in P/E might be a result of other factors. For example, if you are comparing lower risk firms with OI, then its P/E would naturally be lower than its peers, as investors would value those with lower risk at a higher price. The second assumption that must hold true is that the stocks we are comparing OI to are fairly valued by the market. If this does not hold true, OI’s lower P/E ratio may be because firms in our peer group are overvalued by the market.

To help readers see pass 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.