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Is Sirius XM Holdings Inc.'s (NASDAQ:SIRI) High P/E Ratio A Problem For Investors?

Simply Wall St

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 Sirius XM Holdings Inc.'s (NASDAQ:SIRI) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. Based on the last twelve months, Sirius XM Holdings's P/E ratio is 27.64. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 3.6%.

See our latest analysis for Sirius XM Holdings

How Do I Calculate Sirius XM Holdings's Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Sirius XM Holdings:

P/E of 27.64 = $6.25 ÷ $0.23 (Based on the year to June 2019.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio implies that investors pay a higher price for the earning power of the business. 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.

Does Sirius XM Holdings Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. The image below shows that Sirius XM Holdings has a higher P/E than the average (13.2) P/E for companies in the media industry.

NasdaqGS:SIRI Price Estimation Relative to Market, October 1st 2019

Its relatively high P/E ratio indicates that Sirius XM Holdings shareholders think it will perform better than other companies in its industry classification. The market is optimistic about the future, but that doesn't guarantee future growth. So investors should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

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. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. So while a stock may look expensive based on past earnings, it could be cheap based on future earnings.

It's nice to see that Sirius XM Holdings grew EPS by a stonking 25% in the last year. And earnings per share have improved by 32% annually, over the last five years. With that performance, I would expect it to have an above average P/E ratio.

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

Don't forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. 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).

So What Does Sirius XM Holdings's Balance Sheet Tell Us?

Sirius XM Holdings's net debt equates to 27% of its market capitalization. While that's enough to warrant consideration, it doesn't really concern us.

The Verdict On Sirius XM Holdings's P/E Ratio

Sirius XM Holdings's P/E is 27.6 which is above average (17.8) in its market. While the company does use modest debt, its recent earnings growth is very good. So on this analysis it seems reasonable that its P/E ratio is above average.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. 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 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 Sirius XM Holdings. 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.