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Here’s How P/E Ratios Can Help Us Understand Summit State Bank (NASDAQ:SSBI)

This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). To keep it practical, we’ll show how Summit State Bank’s (NASDAQ:SSBI) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. Based on the last twelve months, Summit State Bank’s P/E ratio is 14.02. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying $14.02 for every $1 in prior year profit.

Check out our latest analysis for Summit State Bank

How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for Summit State Bank:

P/E of 14.02 = $12 ÷ $0.86 (Based on the year to September 2018.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each $1 of company earnings. 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

When earnings fall, the ‘E’ decreases, over time. Therefore, even if you pay a low multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become higher in the future. A higher P/E should indicate the stock is expensive relative to others — and that may encourage shareholders to sell.

It’s nice to see that Summit State Bank grew EPS by a stonking 29% in the last year. But earnings per share are down 2.0% per year over the last five years.

How Does Summit State Bank’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. As you can see below Summit State Bank has a P/E ratio that is fairly close for the average for the banks industry, which is 15.

NasdaqGM:SSBI PE PEG Gauge December 13th 18

That indicates that the market expects Summit State Bank will perform roughly in line with other companies in its industry. If the company has better than average prospects, then the market might be underestimating it. Checking factors such as the tenure of the board and management could help you form your own view on if that will happen.

A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank

It’s important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. Theoretically, a business can improve its earnings (and produce a lower P/E in the future), by taking on debt (or spending its remaining cash).

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).

Summit State Bank’s Balance Sheet

Summit State Bank’s net debt is 12% of its market cap. That’s enough debt to impact the P/E ratio a little; so keep it in mind if you’re comparing it to companies without debt.

The Verdict On Summit State Bank’s P/E Ratio

Summit State Bank trades on a P/E ratio of 14, which is below the US market average of 17.2. The company hasn’t stretched its balance sheet, and earnings growth was good last year. The low P/E ratio suggests current market expectations are muted, implying these levels of growth will not continue.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. If it is underestimating a company, investors can make money by buying and holding the shares until the market corrects itself. Although we don’t have analyst forecasts, you might want to assess this data-rich visualization of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

But note: Summit State Bank may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).

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.