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Should We Worry About Heidelberger Druckmaschinen Aktiengesellschaft's (FRA:HDD) 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 Heidelberger Druckmaschinen Aktiengesellschaft's (FRA:HDD) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen has a price to earnings ratio of 18.78, based on the last twelve months. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 5.3%.

View our latest analysis for Heidelberger Druckmaschinen

How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Heidelberger Druckmaschinen:

P/E of 18.78 = €1.4 ÷ €0.075 (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2019.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

The higher the P/E ratio, the higher the price tag of a business, relative to its trailing earnings. That is not a good or a bad thing per se, but a high P/E does imply buyers are optimistic about the future.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

If earnings fall then in the future the 'E' will be lower. That means unless the share price falls, the P/E will increase in a few years. Then, a higher P/E might scare off shareholders, pushing the share price down.

In the last year, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen grew EPS like Taylor Swift grew her fan base back in 2010; the 51% gain was both fast and well deserved. The sweetener is that the annual five year growth rate of 37% is also impressive. With that kind of growth rate we would generally expect a high P/E ratio. Unfortunately, earnings per share are down 12% a year, over 3 years.

How Does Heidelberger Druckmaschinen's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. As you can see below, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen has a higher P/E than the average company (16.3) in the machinery industry.

DB:HDD Price Estimation Relative to Market, June 24th 2019

Its relatively high P/E ratio indicates that Heidelberger Druckmaschinen shareholders think it will perform better than other companies in its industry classification. Shareholders are clearly optimistic, but the future is always uncertain. 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

Don't forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. The exact same company would hypothetically deserve a higher P/E ratio if it had a strong balance sheet, than if it had a weak one with lots of debt, because a cashed up company can spend on growth.

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 Heidelberger Druckmaschinen's P/E?

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen's net debt is 59% of its 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 Heidelberger Druckmaschinen's P/E Ratio

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen's P/E is 18.8 which is about average (20.1) in the DE market. It does have enough debt to add risk, although earnings growth was strong in the last year. The P/E suggests that the market is not convinced EPS will continue to improve strongly.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. If it is underestimating a company, investors can make money by buying and holding the shares until the market corrects itself. 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.

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.

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.