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Here’s What Patrick Industries, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:PATK) P/E Ratio Is Telling Us

Ingrid Hart

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). To keep it practical, we’ll show how Patrick Industries, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:PATK) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. Patrick Industries has a P/E ratio of 6.38, based on the last twelve months. That means that at current prices, buyers pay $6.38 for every $1 in trailing yearly profits.

View our latest analysis for Patrick Industries

How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for Patrick Industries:

P/E of 6.38 = $31.88 ÷ $5 (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2018.)

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 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 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.

Notably, Patrick Industries grew EPS by a whopping 67% in the last year. And it has bolstered its earnings per share by 33% per year over the last five years. With that performance, I would expect it to have an above average P/E ratio.

How Does Patrick Industries’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. We can see in the image below that the average P/E (14.6) for companies in the building industry is higher than Patrick Industries’s P/E.

NasdaqGS:PATK PE PEG Gauge January 6th 19

This suggests that market participants think Patrick Industries will underperform other companies in its industry. Many investors like to buy stocks when the market is pessimistic about their prospects. You should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

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

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).

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 Patrick Industries’s P/E?

Patrick Industries has net debt worth 79% 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 Bottom Line On Patrick Industries’s P/E Ratio

Patrick Industries trades on a P/E ratio of 6.4, which is below the US market average of 16.4. While the EPS growth last year was strong, the significant debt levels reduce the number of options available to management. If the company can continue to grow earnings, then the current P/E may be unjustifiably low.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. 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 they key to an excellent investment decision.

Of course you might be able to find a better stock than Patrick Industries. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.

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.