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Should We Worry About Central European Media Enterprises Ltd.’s (NASDAQ:CETV) P/E Ratio?

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The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll show how you can use Central European Media Enterprises Ltd.’s (NASDAQ:CETV) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Central European Media Enterprises has a price to earnings ratio of 18.7, based on the last twelve months. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 5.3%.

View our latest analysis for Central European Media Enterprises

How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Central European Media Enterprises:

P/E of 18.7 = $3.47 ÷ $0.19 (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each $1 of company earnings. 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.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. That’s because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the ‘E’ in the equation. That means unless the share price increases, the P/E will reduce in a few years. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others — and that may attract buyers.

Most would be impressed by Central European Media Enterprises earnings growth of 14% in the last year. And its annual EPS growth rate over 5 years is 49%. This could arguably justify a relatively high P/E ratio.

How Does Central European Media Enterprises’s P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. As you can see below, Central European Media Enterprises has a higher P/E than the average company (16) in the media industry.

NasdaqGS:CETV Price Estimation Relative to Market, March 25th 2019

That means that the market expects Central European Media Enterprises will outperform other companies in its industry. The market is optimistic about the future, but that doesn’t guarantee future growth. So investors should always consider the P/E ratio alongside other factors, such as whether company directors have been buying shares.

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

Don’t forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. Theoretically, a business can improve its earnings (and produce a lower P/E in the future), by taking on debt (or spending its remaining cash).

Such expenditure might be good or bad, in the long term, but the point here is that the balance sheet is not reflected by this ratio.

Is Debt Impacting Central European Media Enterprises’s P/E?

Net debt totals 83% of Central European Media Enterprises’s market cap. This is enough debt that you’d have to make some adjustments before using the P/E ratio to compare it to a company with net cash.

The Bottom Line On Central European Media Enterprises’s P/E Ratio

Central European Media Enterprises’s P/E is 18.7 which is above average (17.2) in the US market. It has already proven it can grow earnings, but the debt levels mean it faces some risks. The relatively high P/E ratio suggests shareholders think growth will continue.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. If the reality for a company is better than it expects, you can make money by buying and holding for the long term. 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.

You might be able to find a better buy than Central European Media Enterprises. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).

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.