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Read This Before You Buy Standex International Corporation (NYSE:SXI) Because Of Its P/E Ratio

Simply Wall St

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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 Standex International Corporation's (NYSE:SXI) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. What is Standex International's P/E ratio? Well, based on the last twelve months it is 16.93. In other words, at today's prices, investors are paying $16.93 for every $1 in prior year profit.

See our latest analysis for Standex International

How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for Standex International:

P/E of 16.93 = $67.81 ÷ $4.01 (Based on the year to March 2019.)

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. 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

Companies that shrink earnings per share quickly will rapidly decrease the 'E' in the equation. That means unless the share price falls, the P/E will increase in a few years. So while a stock may look cheap based on past earnings, it could be expensive based on future earnings.

Notably, Standex International grew EPS by a whopping 49% in the last year. And earnings per share have improved by 1.2% annually, over the last five years. So we'd generally expect it to have a relatively high P/E ratio. In contrast, EPS has decreased by 3.5%, annually, over 3 years.

Does Standex International Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. The image below shows that Standex International has a lower P/E than the average (20.5) P/E for companies in the machinery industry.

NYSE:SXI Price Estimation Relative to Market, June 5th 2019
NYSE:SXI Price Estimation Relative to Market, June 5th 2019

Its relatively low P/E ratio indicates that Standex International shareholders think it will struggle to do as well as other companies in its industry classification. 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

The 'Price' in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. So it won't reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.

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.

How Does Standex International's Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Standex International's net debt is 23% of its market cap. It would probably deserve a higher P/E ratio if it was net cash, since it would have more options for growth.

The Bottom Line On Standex International's P/E Ratio

Standex International's P/E is 16.9 which is about average (17.4) in the US market. When you consider the impressive EPS growth last year (along with some debt), it seems the market has questions about whether rapid EPS growth will be sustained. Given analysts are expecting further growth, one might have expected a higher P/E ratio. That may be worth further research.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. If it is underestimating a company, investors can make money by buying and holding the shares until the market corrects itself. So this free report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.

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

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.