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Should You Be Tempted To Sell Fidelity D & D Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:FDBC) Because Of Its P/E Ratio?

The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). To keep it practical, we’ll show how Fidelity D & D Bancorp, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:FDBC) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. Based on the last twelve months, Fidelity D & D Bancorp’s P/E ratio is 21.34. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 4.7%.

Check out our latest analysis for Fidelity D & D Bancorp

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 Fidelity D & D Bancorp:

P/E of 21.34 = $59.73 ÷ $2.8 (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2018.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio implies that investors pay a higher price for the earning power of the business. All else being equal, it’s better to pay a low price — but as Warren Buffett said, ‘It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.’

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

P/E ratios primarily reflect market expectations around earnings growth rates. When earnings grow, the ‘E’ increases, over time. 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 great to see that Fidelity D & D Bancorp grew EPS by 23% in the last year. And it has bolstered its earnings per share by 7.6% per year over the last five years. With that performance, you might expect an above average P/E ratio.

How Does Fidelity D & D Bancorp’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 Fidelity D & D Bancorp has a higher P/E than the average (14.6) P/E for companies in the banks industry.

NasdaqGM:FDBC PE PEG Gauge December 16th 18

Its relatively high P/E ratio indicates that Fidelity D & D Bancorp 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.

Don’t Forget: The P/E Does Not Account For Debt or Bank Deposits

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. 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).

Is Debt Impacting Fidelity D & D Bancorp’s P/E?

Fidelity D & D Bancorp has net debt worth 25% of its market capitalization. That’s enough debt to impact the P/E ratio a little; so keep it in mind if you’re comparing it to companies without debt.

The Bottom Line On Fidelity D & D Bancorp’s P/E Ratio

Fidelity D & D Bancorp trades on a P/E ratio of 21.3, which is above the US market average of 16.8. While the company does use modest debt, its recent earnings growth is impressive. So it is not surprising the market is probably extrapolating recent growth well into the future, reflected in the relatively high P/E ratio.

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.’ Although we don’t have analyst forecasts, you might want to assess this data-rich visualization of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E below 20.

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.