This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll show how you can use iDreamSky Technology Holdings Limited's (HKG:1119) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. iDreamSky Technology Holdings has a price to earnings ratio of 15.31, based on the last twelve months. In other words, at today's prices, investors are paying HK$15.31 for every HK$1 in prior year profit.
How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?
The formula for P/E is:
Price to Earnings Ratio = Share Price (in reporting currency) ÷ Earnings per Share (EPS)
Or for iDreamSky Technology Holdings:
P/E of 15.31 = CN¥4.440 ÷ CN¥0.290 (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2019.)
(Note: the above calculation uses the share price in the reporting currency, namely CNY and the calculation results may not be precise due to rounding.)
Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?
A higher P/E ratio means that buyers have to pay a higher price for each CN¥1 the company has earned over the last year. 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 iDreamSky Technology Holdings's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?
The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. You can see in the image below that the average P/E (11.7) for companies in the entertainment industry is lower than iDreamSky Technology Holdings's P/E.
iDreamSky Technology Holdings'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
Probably the most important factor in determining what P/E a company trades on is the earnings growth. When earnings grow, the 'E' increases, over time. 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.
iDreamSky Technology Holdings increased earnings per share by an impressive 25% over the last twelve months. And earnings per share have improved by 31% annually, over the last five years. With that performance, you might expect an above average P/E ratio.
A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank
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. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in growth.
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.
So What Does iDreamSky Technology Holdings's Balance Sheet Tell Us?
iDreamSky Technology Holdings's net debt is 12% of its market cap. That's enough debt to impact the P/E ratio a little; so keep it in mind if you're comparing it to companies without debt.
The Bottom Line On iDreamSky Technology Holdings's P/E Ratio
iDreamSky Technology Holdings's P/E is 15.3 which is above average (9.0) in its market. The company is not overly constrained by its modest debt levels, and its recent EPS growth very solid. So on this analysis it seems reasonable that its P/E ratio is above average.
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. 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 iDreamSky Technology Holdings. 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).
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.