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Here's What MTU Aero Engines AG's (ETR:MTX) P/E Is Telling Us

Simply Wall St

The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll look at MTU Aero Engines AG's (ETR:MTX) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company's share price. MTU Aero Engines has a P/E ratio of 26.92, based on the last twelve months. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 3.7%.

Check out our latest analysis for MTU Aero Engines

How Do I Calculate MTU Aero Engines's Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for MTU Aero Engines:

P/E of 26.92 = €237.40 ÷ €8.82 (Based on the year to June 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. All else being equal, it's better to pay a low price -- but as Warren Buffett said, 'It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.

How Does MTU Aero Engines's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

The P/E ratio essentially measures market expectations of a company. The image below shows that MTU Aero Engines has a higher P/E than the average (21.4) P/E for companies in the aerospace & defense industry.

XTRA:MTX Price Estimation Relative to Market, September 23rd 2019

That means that the market expects MTU Aero Engines will outperform other companies in its industry. The market is optimistic about the future, but that doesn't guarantee future growth. So investors should delve deeper. I like to check if company insiders have been buying or selling.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Earnings growth rates have a big influence on P/E ratios. Earnings growth means that in the future the 'E' will be higher. And in that case, the P/E ratio itself will drop rather quickly. Then, a lower P/E should attract more buyers, pushing the share price up.

MTU Aero Engines increased earnings per share by an impressive 22% over the last twelve months. And it has bolstered its earnings per share by 20% per year over the last five years. With that performance, you might expect an above average P/E ratio.

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

One drawback of using a P/E ratio is that it considers market capitalization, but not the balance sheet. In other words, it does not consider any debt or cash that the company may have on the balance sheet. Hypothetically, a company could reduce its future P/E ratio by spending its cash (or taking on debt) to achieve higher earnings.

While growth expenditure doesn't always pay off, the point is that it is a good option to have; but one that the P/E ratio ignores.

MTU Aero Engines's Balance Sheet

MTU Aero Engines's net debt is 6.5% of its market cap. So it doesn't have as many options as it would with net cash, but its debt would not have much of an impact on its P/E ratio.

The Bottom Line On MTU Aero Engines's P/E Ratio

MTU Aero Engines's P/E is 26.9 which is above average (20.2) in its market. The company is not overly constrained by its modest debt levels, and its recent EPS growth very solid. Therefore, it's not particularly surprising that it has a above average P/E ratio.

Investors have an opportunity when market expectations about a stock are wrong. 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 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.