PE Ratio Meaning and Formula, (Price To Earnings Ratio)

PE Ratio

PE Ratio, often called the price-earnings ratio is a quite prominent indicator for an investor. This ratio helps to evaluate a company’s financial position, the stock’s fair market value. The price to earnings ratio gives the idea of the growth potentiality of the stock market.

Mainly it indicates what the market is willing to pay for the earning of a company. By calculating PE, an investor can get a fair scenario regarding stock price and profit. P/E Ratio meaning and formula are quite important in fundamental analysis to understand for profitable investment planning.

Popular FAQ about PE Ratio

What is a Companies PE ratio?

The P/E ratio is one of the most popularly used tools for stock selection. You can calculate it by dividing the current market price of the stock by EPS or earnings per share. It reflects the sum of money you are paying for each rupee worth of the earnings of the company.

What is a good PE ratio?

Basically, a high P/E ratio shows that investors are expecting higher growth in the future. The current average market P/E ratio is approximately 20 to 25 times earnings. Companies that are losing money do not have a high P/E ratio. They have a low price-to-earnings ratio.

What is the PE ratio formula?

You can calculate it by dividing the market value price per share by the EPS. A trailing P/E ratio happens when the EPS is based on the past period. Leading price-to-earnings ratios to happen when the EPS calculation depends on future predicted numbers.

How do you know if a stock is overvalued?

A stock is simply overvalued if its present price isn’t supported by its P/E ratio result or earnings projection. The P/E ratio is also referred to as earnings multiple. Suppose, a company’s stock price is 50 times earnings, the company is likely overvalued in comparison to a company that’s trading for 10 times earnings.

What is Price to Earnings Ratio?

Before we go through the discussion of PE Ratio meaning and formula, let’s take a short look at EPS. In order to understand the P/E Ratio in detail, it’s necessary to calculate EPS first. EPS stands for or earnings per share. To calculate dividends must be subtracted from the annual income and then divide the amount by the weighted average number of shares. Therefore we can get profit per share.

PE Ratio meaning and formula

Price to earnings ratio is a ratio between market price or stock price and EPS (earning per share). PE helps investors to research and analyze what should be the stock price based on the company’s current earnings. Basically, there are two prices to earnings ratios, Forward and Trailing PE Ratio.

PE Ratio meaning and formula

Forward Price To Earnings Ratio

The calculation of this ratio requires the previous period of earnings per share. To calculate it, we require the last four quarters’ earnings. The future price-to-earnings (forward P/E) ratio is also a variation of the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio that employs expected earnings to calculate the P/E. While the earnings utilized in this calculation are only estimates and not as trustworthy as current or historical earnings data, projected P/E analysis still has advantages.

Forward Ratio

Explanation of the calculation

Suppose a company holds a current share price of 50k rupee and the present year’s EPS is 5k so now it is quite clear that the forward P/Eratio will be 10%. This 10% is the companies growth rate according to an analyst. In the following, I have calculated the ratio so that you can have a clear view.


Trailing Price To Earnings Ratio

This ratio is an estimation of the upcoming quarter’s earnings. Trailing PE calculation is based on the future number. By dividing a company’s stock price by its most recent fiscal year’s earnings helps to calculate this ratio. When individuals talk about the P/E ratio in general, they usually mean the trailing P/E. By multiplying the current market value or share price, to the prior year’s earnings per share (EPS) helps to direct the correct ratio.

The income statement in the annual report contains the earnings for the most recent fiscal year. At the bottom of the income statement there, they present yearly EPS. To get the trailing P/E ratio, divide the current stock price by this value.

Trailing calculation

Explanation of the calculation

Suppose a company has stock price of 50k rupees and their trailing EPSis 2k for 12 months. So the trailing will be 25%. As I have attach an calculation perviously so I hope it wont be a problem for you to calculate any companies trailing P/E ratio by yourself.

Average PE Ratio

The limit of the average ratio is 20-25. Low PE indicates undervalue and a high ratio indicates the overvalue of shares. So one should not buy shares only by the profit-sharing ratio indication. There are other factors too. Investors must analyze these factors should before investing in a stock. These are as follows:

  • Market Capitalization
  • The growth rate of a company
  • Debt
  • Risk
  • consumer market
  • Market segments

Why is PE Ratio Important?

The price of a company follows the earnings over the long term. When earnings go up, the stock price goes up. As the earnings go down, the price goes down. The ideal PE ratio for most stocks is between 15 to 20. The price-to-earnings ratio also indicates the growth of a company. As per Ben Graham PE of 8.5 indicates zero growth per year, PE of 18.5 indicates 5% growth per year while PE of 48.5 indicates 20% growth per year.

Key Features

  • The PE or price to earnings ratio relates to a company’s share price to its EPS or earnings per share.
  • A high P/E ratio may also reflect that a company’s stock is over-valued otherwise else that investors are expecting high growth rates in the future.
  • Companies that have no earnings or that are losing money do not have a price to earnings ratio. Since there is nothing to put in the denominator.
  • Two types of P/E ratios – forward and trailing P/E. Therefore, investors use both of them in practice.

Comparision of P/E Ratio

In the followin we are going to comapire the P/E ratio to different aspects and also to different companies.

Peer comparision of P/E ratio

As we previously knew that we can not find a company’s current situation based on their P/E ratio. Because it can be determind by some false statement. As you compaire different companies of the same sector which is also known as peer comparision will help you to understand, the true value of the stock you want to invest in. Here we will compare different companies P/E ratio by using peer comparision.

Peer comparision

These are some of the similer companies which belong from the same sector. Here, I have highlighted their P/E ratio to show how it differ from company to company. After obsersing this, it is quite clear that there is nothing called ideal P/E ratio. As high the ratio is that high the company value is.

Industrial P/E ratio

There are so many companies belong from the same sector. These industriel sectors holds an average P/E ratio which also use as a standerd ratio. Suppose the industrial P/E ratio is 20% but a company named ABC Ltd. holds less than 20% of P/E ratio. That means the company is not that promising. There are so many other companies from that same sector which holds a better position in the stock market of India. Investing on those companies can be more beneficial.

Nifty stocks P/E ratio

As I’m updating this post on sep 3rd, 2021. That is why I am presenting you the current nifty P/E ratio that you can use as a standerd ratio to compare other companies present market situation. This will be very helpful if you specifically want to invest in Nifty stocks only by compairing with their standerd P/E ratios to your desireable companies. Specially those one which you are intended to invest in.


Investors can compare companies on their price-to-earnings ratio to find the better stock to invest in. One should compare two same sectors i.e infrastructure and service sector are completely different, so comparisons between these two are not possible. Hence investors prefer a company in the same industry with a lower PE to invest. But many times growth investors even do not mind paying for a higher PE too. Finally PE Ratio meaning and formula is quite a vital concept. Long-term investors should follow this.

Author: Ankita Sarkar

Ankita is a graduate in English language and she has also done her MBA from the Calcutta University. She has a high knack in the stock markets. She is a NISM certified Research Analyst. An experienced stock market content writer Ankita is also trading successfully on her own account.

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