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Is Partner Communications Company Ltd.'s (NASDAQ:PTNR) High P/E Ratio A Problem For Investors?

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This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll look at Partner Communications Company Ltd.'s (NASDAQ:PTNR) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company's share price. Looking at earnings over the last twelve months, Partner Communications has a P/E ratio of 48.89. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 2.0%.

Check out our latest analysis for Partner Communications

How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

Price to Earnings Ratio = Share Price (in reporting currency) ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)

Or for Partner Communications:

P/E of 48.89 = ₪14.85 (Note: this is the share price in the reporting currency, namely, ILS ) ÷ ₪0.30 (Based on the year to March 2019.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

The higher the P/E ratio, the higher the price tag of a business, relative to its trailing earnings. That isn't necessarily good or bad, but a high P/E implies relatively high expectations of what a company can achieve in the future.

How Does Partner Communications'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 Partner Communications has a higher P/E than the average (25.7) P/E for companies in the wireless telecom industry.

NasdaqGS:PTNR Price Estimation Relative to Market, July 9th 2019

Partner Communications's P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward. Clearly the market expects growth, but it isn't guaranteed. So further research is always essential. I often monitor director buying and 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. And in that case, the P/E ratio itself will drop rather quickly. And as that P/E ratio drops, the company will look cheap, unless its share price increases.

Partner Communications shrunk earnings per share by 15% over the last year. And over the longer term (5 years) earnings per share have decreased 21% annually. This could justify a pessimistic P/E.

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

Don't forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. That means it doesn't take debt or cash into account. 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 Partner Communications's P/E?

Partner Communications's net debt equates to 40% of its market capitalization. While it's worth keeping this in mind, it isn't a worry.

The Verdict On Partner Communications's P/E Ratio

Partner Communications trades on a P/E ratio of 48.9, which is above its market average of 18.1. With modest debt but no EPS growth in the last year, it's fair to say the P/E implies some optimism about future earnings, from the market.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. If the reality for a company is better than it expects, you can make money by buying and holding for the long term. We don't have analyst forecasts, but shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E below 20.

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.