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Should You Be Tempted To Sell OSRAM Licht AG (ETR:OSR) Because Of Its PE Ratio?

Bryson Sharp

OSRAM Licht AG (XTRA:OSR) is trading with a trailing P/E of 23.2x, which is higher than the industry average of 18.5x. Although some investors may jump to the conclusion that you should avoid the stock or sell if you own it, understanding the assumptions behind the P/E ratio might change your mind. In this article, I will deconstruct the P/E ratio and highlight what you need to be careful of when using the P/E ratio. Check out our latest analysis for OSRAM Licht

What you need to know about the P/E ratio

XTRA:OSR PE PEG Gauge Jun 12th 18

P/E is a popular ratio used for relative valuation. By comparing a stock’s price per share to its earnings per share, we are able to see how much investors are paying for each dollar of the company’s earnings.

P/E Calculation for OSR

Price-Earnings Ratio = Price per share ÷ Earnings per share

OSR Price-Earnings Ratio = €51.7 ÷ €2.229 = 23.2x

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 OSR, such as company lifetime and products sold. One way of gathering a peer group is to use firms in the same industry, which is what I’ll do. Since OSR’s P/E of 23.2x is higher than its industry peers (18.5x), it means that investors are paying more than they should for each dollar of OSR’s earnings. Therefore, according to this analysis, OSR is an over-priced stock.

Assumptions to watch out for

Before you jump to the conclusion that OSR should be banished from your portfolio, it is important to realise that our conclusion rests on two assertions. Firstly, our peer group contains companies that are similar to OSR. 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 OSR, 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 OSR to are fairly valued by the market. If this does not hold true, OSR’s lower P/E ratio may be because firms in our peer group are overvalued by the market.

What this means for you:

If your personal research into the stock confirms what the P/E ratio is telling you, it might be a good time to rebalance your portfolio and reduce your holdings in OSR. But keep in mind that the usefulness of relative valuation depends on whether you are comfortable with making the assumptions I mentioned above. Remember that basing your investment decision off one metric alone is certainly not sufficient. There are many things I have not taken into account in this article and the PE ratio is very one-dimensional. If you have not done so already, I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for OSR’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for OSR’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has OSR been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of OSR’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

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.