Jacksonville Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:JXSB) trades with a trailing P/E of 19.1x, which is lower than the industry average of 22.6x. Although some investors may jump to the conclusion that this is a great buying opportunity, understanding the assumptions behind the P/E ratio might change your mind. Today, I will break down what the P/E ratio is, how to interpret it and what to watch out for. View our latest analysis for Jacksonville Bancorp
What you need to know about the P/E ratio
P/E is a popular ratio used for relative valuation. It compares a stock’s price per share to the stock’s earnings per share. A more intuitive way of understanding the P/E ratio is to think of it as how much investors are paying for each dollar of the company’s earnings.
P/E Calculation for JXSB
Price-Earnings Ratio = Price per share ÷ Earnings per share
JXSB Price-Earnings Ratio = $32.02 ÷ $1.676 = 19.1x
The P/E ratio isn’t a metric you view in isolation and only becomes useful when you compare it against other similar companies. Our goal is to compare the stock’s P/E ratio to the average of companies that have similar attributes to JXSB, such as company lifetime and products sold. A quick method of creating a peer group is to use companies in the same industry, which is what I will do. At 19.1x, JXSB’s P/E is lower than its industry peers (22.6x). This implies that investors are undervaluing each dollar of JXSB’s earnings. Therefore, according to this analysis, JXSB is an under-priced stock.
Assumptions to be aware of
Before you jump to the conclusion that JXSB is the perfect buying opportunity, it is important to realise that our conclusion rests on two assertions. Firstly, our peer group contains companies that are similar to JXSB. If this isn’t the case, the difference in P/E could be due to other factors. For example, if you compared higher growth firms with JXSB, then its P/E would naturally be lower since investors would reward its peers’ higher growth with a higher price. The second assumption that must hold true is that the stocks we are comparing JXSB to are fairly valued by the market. If this does not hold true, JXSB’s lower P/E ratio may be because firms in our peer group are overvalued by the market.
What this means for you:
Are you a shareholder? Since you may have already conducted your due diligence on JXSB, the undervaluation of the stock may mean it is a good time to top up on your current holdings. But at the end of the day, keep in mind that relative valuation relies heavily on critical assumptions I’ve outlined above.
Are you a potential investor? If you are considering investing in JXSB, looking at the PE ratio on its own is not enough to make a well-informed decision. You will benefit from looking at additional analysis and considering its intrinsic valuation along with other relative valuation metrics like PEG and EV/Sales.
PE is one aspect of your portfolio construction to consider when holding or entering into a stock. But it is certainly not the only factor. Take a look at our most recent infographic report on Jacksonville Bancorp for a more in-depth analysis of the stock to help you make a well-informed investment decision. Since we know a limitation of PE is it doesn’t properly account for growth, you can use our free platform to see my list of stocks with a high growth potential and see if their PE is still reasonable.
To help readers see pass 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.