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Do You Know What Textron Inc.'s (NYSE:TXT) P/E Ratio Means?

Simply Wall St

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 Textron Inc.'s (NYSE:TXT) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Textron has a price to earnings ratio of 9.25, based on the last twelve months. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 10.8%.

See our latest analysis for Textron

How Do You Calculate Textron's P/E Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for Textron:

P/E of 9.25 = $46.76 ÷ $5.06 (Based on the year to June 2019.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying a higher price for each $1 of company earnings. 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 Textron'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. The image below shows that Textron has a lower P/E than the average (22.9) P/E for companies in the aerospace & defense industry.

NYSE:TXT Price Estimation Relative to Market, October 10th 2019

Textron's P/E tells us that market participants think it will not fare as well as its peers in the same industry. Since the market seems unimpressed with Textron, it's quite possible it could surprise on the upside. If you consider the stock interesting, further research is recommended. For example, I often monitor director buying and selling.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

P/E ratios primarily reflect market expectations around earnings growth rates. That's because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the 'E' in the equation. 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.

In the last year, Textron grew EPS like Taylor Swift grew her fan base back in 2010; the 183% gain was both fast and well deserved. The cherry on top is that the five year growth rate was an impressive 23% per year. With that kind of growth rate we would generally expect a high P/E ratio.

A Limitation: P/E Ratios Ignore Debt and Cash In The Bank

Don't forget that the P/E ratio considers market capitalization. So it won't reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. In theory, a company can lower its future P/E ratio by using cash or debt to invest in 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.

Textron's Balance Sheet

Textron's net debt equates to 30% of its market capitalization. While it's worth keeping this in mind, it isn't a worry.

The Bottom Line On Textron's P/E Ratio

Textron's P/E is 9.2 which is below average (17.3) in the US market. The company hasn't stretched its balance sheet, and earnings growth was good last year. If the company can continue to grow earnings, then the current P/E may be unjustifiably low.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. If the reality for a company is not as bad as the P/E ratio indicates, then the share price should increase as the market realizes this. 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.