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Read This Before You Buy Reading International, Inc. (NASDAQ:RDI) Because Of Its P/E Ratio

Jason Fuller

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll show how you can use Reading International, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:RDI) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Reading International has a P/E ratio of 21.29, based on the last twelve months. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 4.7%.

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How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Reading International:

P/E of 21.29 = $15.51 ÷ $0.73 (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

If earnings fall then in the future the ‘E’ will be lower. Therefore, even if you pay a low multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become higher in the future. So while a stock may look cheap based on past earnings, it could be expensive based on future earnings.

Reading International saw earnings per share decrease by 30% last year. But EPS is up 9.9% over the last 5 years.

How Does Reading International’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. The image below shows that Reading International has a lower P/E than the average (24.6) P/E for companies in the entertainment industry.

NasdaqCM:RDI PE PEG Gauge January 15th 19

This suggests that market participants think Reading International will underperform other companies in its industry. Since the market seems unimpressed with Reading International, it’s quite possible it could surprise on the upside. If you consider the stock interesting, further research is recommended. For example, I often monitor director buying and selling.

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

Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. In other words, it does not consider any debt or cash that the company may have on the balance sheet. 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.

Reading International’s Balance Sheet

Reading International’s net debt is 42% of its market cap. 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 Reading International’s P/E Ratio

Reading International has a P/E of 21.3. That’s higher than the average in the US market, which is 16.8. With a bit of debt, but a lack of recent growth, it’s safe to say the market is expecting improved profit performance from the company, in the next few years.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. If the reality for a company is better than it expects, you can make money by buying and holding for the long term. 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.

You might be able to find a better buy than Reading International. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).

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.