Should You Be Tempted To Sell The Boston Beer Company, Inc. (NYSE:SAM) Because Of Its P/E Ratio? – Simply Wall St

This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We’ll show how you can use The Boston Beer Company, Inc.’s (NYSE:SAM) P/E ratio to inform your assessment of the investment opportunity. Boston Beer Company has a P/E ratio of 33.08, based on the last twelve months. That is equivalent to an earnings yield of about 3.0%.

See our latest analysis for Boston Beer Company

How Do I Calculate A Price To Earnings Ratio?

The formula for price to earnings is:

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

Or for Boston Beer Company:

P/E of 33.08 = $261.27 ÷ $7.9 (Based on the year to December 2018.)

Is A High P/E Ratio Good?

A higher P/E ratio means that buyers have to pay a higher price for each $1 the company has earned over the last year. 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

Probably the most important factor in determining what P/E a company trades on is the earnings growth. Earnings growth means that in the future the ‘E’ will be higher. Therefore, even if you pay a high multiple of earnings now, that multiple will become lower in the future. A lower P/E should indicate the stock is cheap relative to others — and that may attract buyers.

Boston Beer Company’s earnings per share fell by 3.4% in the last twelve months. But over the longer term (5 years) earnings per share have increased by 7.6%.

Does Boston Beer Company Have A Relatively High Or Low P/E For Its Industry?

We can get an indication of market expectations by looking at the P/E ratio. The image below shows that Boston Beer Company has a higher P/E than the average (26.7) P/E for companies in the beverage industry.

NYSE:SAM Price Estimation Relative to Market, April 15th 2019

Boston Beer Company’s P/E tells us that market participants think the company will perform better than its industry peers, going forward. The market is optimistic about the future, but that doesn’t guarantee future growth. So further research is always essential. I often monitor director buying and selling.

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

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.

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.

So What Does Boston Beer Company’s Balance Sheet Tell Us?

The extra options and safety that comes with Boston Beer Company’s US$108m net cash position means that it deserves a higher P/E than it would if it had a lot of net debt.

The Verdict On Boston Beer Company’s P/E Ratio

Boston Beer Company trades on a P/E ratio of 33.1, which is above the US market average of 18.2. The recent drop in earnings per share might keep value investors away, but the relatively strong balance sheet will allow the company time to invest in growth. Clearly, the high P/E indicates shareholders think it will!

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. 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 report on the analyst consensus forecasts could help you make a master move on this stock.

But note: Boston Beer Company may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio 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.

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