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Read This Before You Buy Kitron ASA (OB:KIT) Because Of Its P/E Ratio

Simply Wall St

Today, we'll introduce the concept of the P/E ratio for those who are learning about investing. To keep it practical, we'll show how Kitron ASA's (OB:KIT) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. What is Kitron's P/E ratio? Well, based on the last twelve months it is 10.89. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 9.2%.

See our latest analysis for Kitron

How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Kitron:

P/E of 10.89 = NOK8.060 ÷ NOK0.740 (Based on the year to December 2019.)

(Note: the above calculation results may not be precise due to rounding.)

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 is not a good or a bad thing per se, but a high P/E does imply buyers are optimistic about the future.

How Does Kitron's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. If you look at the image below, you can see Kitron has a lower P/E than the average (13.9) in the electronic industry classification.

OB:KIT Price Estimation Relative to Market, March 14th 2020

Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that Kitron shareholders think it will struggle to do as well as other companies in its industry classification. While current expectations are low, the stock could be undervalued if the situation is better than the market assumes. You should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or 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.

Kitron increased earnings per share by an impressive 18% over the last twelve months. And it has bolstered its earnings per share by 39% per year over the last five years. With that performance, you might expect an above average P/E ratio.

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

One drawback of using a P/E ratio is that it considers market capitalization, but not the balance sheet. 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 expenditure might be good or bad, in the long term, but the point here is that the balance sheet is not reflected by this ratio.

So What Does Kitron's Balance Sheet Tell Us?

Net debt is 45% of Kitron's market cap. While it's worth keeping this in mind, it isn't a worry.

The Verdict On Kitron's P/E Ratio

Kitron trades on a P/E ratio of 10.9, which is above its market average of 10.0. Its debt levels do not imperil its balance sheet and it is growing EPS strongly. So on this analysis it seems reasonable that its P/E ratio is above average.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. People often underestimate remarkable growth -- so investors can make money when fast growth is not fully appreciated. So this free visualization of the analyst consensus on future earnings could help you make the right decision about whether to buy, sell, or hold.

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

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.

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. Thank you for reading.