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Should We Worry About ABO-Group Environment NV's (EBR:ABO) P/E Ratio?

Simply Wall St

Today, we'll introduce the concept of the P/E ratio for those who are learning about investing. We'll show how you can use ABO-Group Environment NV's (EBR:ABO) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Based on the last twelve months, ABO-Group Environment's P/E ratio is 31.60. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 3.2%.

See our latest analysis for ABO-Group Environment

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 ABO-Group Environment:

P/E of 31.60 = EUR2.32 ÷ EUR0.07 (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each EUR1 of company earnings. That isn't necessarily good or bad, but a high P/E implies relatively high expectations of what a company can achieve in the future.

How Does ABO-Group Environment's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

One good way to get a quick read on what market participants expect of a company is to look at its P/E ratio. The image below shows that ABO-Group Environment has a higher P/E than the average (18.4) P/E for companies in the commercial services industry.

ENXTBR:ABO Price Estimation Relative to Market, January 15th 2020

ABO-Group Environment's P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward. Clearly the market expects growth, but it isn't guaranteed. So investors should always consider the P/E ratio alongside other factors, such as whether company directors have been buying shares.

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. And in that case, the P/E ratio itself will drop rather quickly. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others -- and that may attract buyers.

ABO-Group Environment increased earnings per share by an impressive 23% over the last twelve months. And it has bolstered its earnings per share by 14% per year over the last five years. So one might expect an above average P/E ratio.

A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank

The 'Price' in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. 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.

While growth expenditure doesn't always pay off, the point is that it is a good option to have; but one that the P/E ratio ignores.

Is Debt Impacting ABO-Group Environment's P/E?

Net debt totals 55% of ABO-Group Environment's market cap. If you want to compare its P/E ratio to other companies, you should absolutely keep in mind it has significant borrowings.

The Bottom Line On ABO-Group Environment's P/E Ratio

ABO-Group Environment trades on a P/E ratio of 31.6, which is above its market average of 17.1. While the meaningful level of debt does limit its options, it has achieved solid growth over the last year. But if growth falters, the relatively high P/E ratio may prove to be unjustified.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. People often underestimate remarkable growth -- so investors can make money when fast growth is not fully appreciated. We don't have analyst forecasts, but you could get a better understanding of its growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

But note: ABO-Group Environment may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).

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.

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. Thank you for reading.