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Read This Before You Buy DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH) Because Of Its P/E Ratio

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll look at DISH Network Corporation’s (NASDAQ:DISH) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company’s share price. DISH Network has a price to earnings ratio of 5.69, based on the last twelve months. In other words, at today’s prices, investors are paying $5.69 for every $1 in prior year profit.

View our latest analysis for DISH Network

How Do I Calculate DISH Network’s Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for DISH Network:

P/E of 5.69 = $31.98 ÷ $5.62 (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2018.)

Is A High P/E 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.’

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Probably the most important factor in determining what P/E a company trades on is the earnings growth. 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.

DISH Network increased earnings per share by a whopping 145% last year. And its annual EPS growth rate over 5 years is 22%. With that performance, I would expect it to have an above average P/E ratio.

How Does DISH Network’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. We can see in the image below that the average P/E (11.3) for companies in the media industry is higher than DISH Network’s P/E.

NasdaqGS:DISH PE PEG Gauge December 11th 18

Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that DISH Network shareholders think it will struggle to do as well as other companies in its industry classification. Since the market seems unimpressed with DISH Network, it’s quite possible it could surprise on the upside. It is arguably worth checking if insiders are buying shares, because that might imply they believe the stock is undervalued.

Don’t Forget: The P/E Does Not Account For Debt or Bank Deposits

It’s important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. That means it doesn’t take debt or cash into account. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.

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).

Is Debt Impacting DISH Network’s P/E?

DISH Network’s net debt is 89% of its market cap. This is a reasonably significant level of debt — all else being equal you’d expect a much lower P/E than if it had net cash.

The Bottom Line On DISH Network’s P/E Ratio

DISH Network has a P/E of 5.7. That’s below the average in the US market, which is 17.2. The company has a meaningful amount of debt on the balance sheet, but that should not eclipse the solid earnings growth. If it continues to grow, then the current low P/E may prove to be unjustified.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. As value investor Benjamin Graham famously said, ‘In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.’ So this free visual report on analyst forecasts could hold they key to an excellent investment decision.

But note: DISH Network 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.