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Here's What TE Connectivity Ltd.'s (NYSE:TEL) P/E Ratio Is Telling Us

Simply Wall St

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The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll apply a basic P/E ratio analysis to TE Connectivity Ltd.'s (NYSE:TEL), to help you decide if the stock is worth further research. Based on the last twelve months, TE Connectivity's P/E ratio is 11.41. That corresponds to an earnings yield of approximately 8.8%.

Check out our latest analysis for TE Connectivity

How Do You Calculate TE Connectivity's P/E Ratio?

The formula for P/E is:

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

Or for TE Connectivity:

P/E of 11.41 = $97.35 ÷ $8.53 (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2019.)

Is A High Price-to-Earnings Ratio Good?

The higher the P/E ratio, the higher the price tag of a business, relative to its trailing earnings. 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 Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

P/E ratios primarily reflect market expectations around earnings growth rates. If earnings are growing quickly, then the 'E' in the equation will increase faster than it would otherwise. And in that case, the P/E ratio itself will drop rather quickly. And as that P/E ratio drops, the company will look cheap, unless its share price increases.

TE Connectivity's 154% EPS improvement over the last year was like bamboo growth after rain; rapid and impressive. The sweetener is that the annual five year growth rate of 21% is also impressive. With that kind of growth rate we would generally expect a high P/E ratio.

Does TE Connectivity Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

The P/E ratio indicates whether the market has higher or lower expectations of a company. We can see in the image below that the average P/E (18.4) for companies in the electronic industry is higher than TE Connectivity's P/E.

NYSE:TEL Price Estimation Relative to Market, July 3rd 2019

This suggests that market participants think TE Connectivity will underperform other companies in its industry. While current expectations are low, the stock could be undervalued if the situation is better than the market assumes. It is arguably worth checking if insiders are buying shares, because that might imply they believe the stock is undervalued.

Remember: P/E Ratios Don't Consider The Balance Sheet

The 'Price' in P/E reflects the market capitalization of the company. Thus, the metric does not reflect cash or debt held by the company. Theoretically, a business can improve its earnings (and produce a lower P/E in the future) by investing in growth. That means taking on debt (or spending its cash).

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.

Is Debt Impacting TE Connectivity's P/E?

TE Connectivity's net debt is 11% of its market cap. This could bring some additional risk, and reduce the number of investment options for management; worth remembering if you compare its P/E to businesses without debt.

The Bottom Line On TE Connectivity's P/E Ratio

TE Connectivity's P/E is 11.4 which is below average (18.2) in the US market. The EPS growth last year was strong, and debt levels are quite reasonable. If it continues to grow, then the current low P/E may prove to be unjustified.

When the market is wrong about a stock, it gives savvy investors an opportunity. 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.

You might be able to find a better buy than TE Connectivity. 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).

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.