Today, we’ll introduce the concept of the P/E ratio for those who are learning about investing. We’ll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to Datalogic S.p.A.’s (BIT:DAL), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Datalogic has a price to earnings ratio of 14.30, based on the last twelve months. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 7.0%.

Check out our latest analysis for Datalogic

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 Datalogic:

P/E of 14.30 = EUR15.76 ÷ EUR1.10 (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2019.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that buyers have to pay a higher price for each EUR1 the company has earned over the last year. 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 Does Datalogic’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. As you can see below, Datalogic has a higher P/E than the average company (11.8) in the electronic industry.

BIT:DAL Price Estimation Relative to Market, February 24th 2020
BIT:DAL Price Estimation Relative to Market, February 24th 2020

Its relatively high P/E ratio indicates that Datalogic shareholders think it will perform better than other companies in its industry classification. Clearly the market expects growth, but it isn’t guaranteed. So investors should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

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How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. If earnings are growing quickly, then the ‘E’ in the equation will increase faster than it would otherwise. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others — and that may attract buyers.

Datalogic increased earnings per share by 8.1% last year. And earnings per share have improved by 13% annually, over the last five years.

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

It’s important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.

Such spending might be good or bad, overall, but the key point here is that you need to look at debt to understand the P/E ratio in context.

How Does Datalogic’s Debt Impact Its P/E Ratio?

Net debt totals just 5.6% of Datalogic’s market cap. 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 Bottom Line On Datalogic’s P/E Ratio

Datalogic trades on a P/E ratio of 14.3, which is below the IT market average of 18.7. The company does have a little debt, and EPS is moving in the right direction. If growth is sustainable over the long term, then the current P/E ratio may be a sign of good value.

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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 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.

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.

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