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# Is Ring Energy, Inc.’s (NYSEMKT:REI) High P/E Ratio A Problem For Investors?

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 Ring Energy, Inc.’s (NYSEMKT:REI) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. Based on the last twelve months, Ring Energy’s P/E ratio is 21.66. That means that at current prices, buyers pay \$21.66 for every \$1 in trailing yearly profits.

### How Do You Calculate A P/E Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for Ring Energy:

P/E of 21.66 = \$4.33 ÷ \$0.20 (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. 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 Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

P/E ratios primarily reflect market expectations around earnings growth rates. That’s because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the ‘E’ in the equation. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others — and that may attract buyers.

Notably, Ring Energy grew EPS by a whopping 69% in the last year. And its annual EPS growth rate over 3 years is 71%. With that performance, I would expect it to have an above average P/E ratio. Unfortunately, earnings per share are down 14% a year, over 5 years.

### How Does Ring Energy’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 Ring Energy has a higher P/E than the average (10.1) P/E for companies in the oil and gas industry.

Its relatively high P/E ratio indicates that Ring Energy shareholders think it will perform better than other companies in its industry classification. Clearly the market expects growth, but it isn’t guaranteed. So investors 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. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.

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).

### Ring Energy’s Balance Sheet

Net debt totals just 4.8% of Ring Energy’s market cap. It would probably trade on a higher P/E ratio if it had a lot of cash, but I doubt it is having a big impact.

### The Bottom Line On Ring Energy’s P/E Ratio

Ring Energy’s P/E is 21.7 which is above average (15.9) in the US market. While the company does use modest debt, its recent earnings growth is impressive. So it does not seem strange that the P/E is above average.

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 report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.

You might be able to find a better buy than Ring Energy. 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.