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Should We Worry About Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida's (NASDAQ:SBCF) P/E Ratio?

Simply Wall St

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). To keep it practical, we'll show how Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida's (NASDAQ:SBCF) P/E ratio could help you assess the value on offer. Based on the last twelve months, Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida's P/E ratio is 16.61. That means that at current prices, buyers pay $16.61 for every $1 in trailing yearly profits.

Check out our latest analysis for Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida

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 Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida:

P/E of 16.61 = $28.39 ÷ $1.71 (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2019.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio implies that investors pay a higher price for the earning power of the business. 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.

Does Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

One good way to get a quick read on what market participants expect of a company is to look at its P/E ratio. As you can see below, Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida has a higher P/E than the average company (12.4) in the banks industry.

NasdaqGS:SBCF Price Estimation Relative to Market, October 27th 2019

Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida's P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward. The market is optimistic about the future, but that doesn't guarantee future growth. So further research is always essential. I often monitor director buying and selling.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Generally speaking the rate of earnings growth has a profound impact on a company's P/E multiple. When earnings grow, the 'E' increases, over time. That means unless the share price increases, the P/E will reduce in a few years. And as that P/E ratio drops, the company will look cheap, unless its share price increases.

It's great to see that Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida grew EPS by 24% in the last year. And its annual EPS growth rate over 5 years is 40%. So one might expect an above average P/E ratio.

Remember: P/E Ratios Don't Consider The Balance Sheet

The 'Price' in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. So it won't reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. 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 Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida's P/E?

Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida has net debt worth just 1.6% of its market capitalization. The market might award it a higher P/E ratio if it had net cash, but its unlikely this low level of net borrowing is having a big impact on the P/E multiple.

The Verdict On Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida's P/E Ratio

Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida's P/E is 16.6 which is about average (17.8) in the US market. With only modest debt levels, and strong earnings growth, the market seems to doubt that the growth can be maintained. Given analysts are expecting further growth, one might have expected a higher P/E ratio. That may be worth further research.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. 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. So this free visual report on analyst forecasts could hold the key to an excellent investment decision.

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.