What is PE Ratio? Types, Formula & Limitations

The PE ratio calculates how much money investors are willing to trade for every rupee of earnings from a company. A higher PE ratio indicates that investors are prepared to pay a premium for the company’s revenues, whereas a low PE ratio indicates that they are not.

The PE ratio can be useful to investors because it can help them to assess whether a company is overvalued or undervalued. If a company possesses a high PE ratio, it may be because investors believe it has a lot of growth potential and is willing to pay a high price for its earnings. However, if a corporation has a lower PE ratio, it may be because investors believe it is not growing as quickly and are unwilling to pay as much for its earnings.

In this blog, we’ll look deeper into what is PE ratio and how to calculate PE ratio?

What is PE Ratio?

The PE ratio, or price-to-earnings ratio, is a financial ratio used to evaluate the relative value of a company’s stock. The PE ratio measures the price of the stock by the earnings per share of a company.

what is pe ratio

Investors frequently use PE in the stock market to assess if a stock is undervalued or overpriced. A stock is overly valued if its PE ratio is high, whereas a stock is undervalued if it has a low PE ratio.

Companies in the same sector or industry can be compared using the PE ratio. It can also compare a company’s stock to the overall market.

The PE ratio is one metric that should be considered when making investment decisions. It’s crucial to know that various elements, such as earnings, economic outlook, and investor sentiments, influence a company’s stock price.

Types of price to earnings ratio

There are two types of PE ratios: trailing and forward. 

Trailing PE ratios

A trailing PE ratio is a company’s share price ratio to its earnings per share (EPS) over the past 12 months. The trailing PE ratio is useful for investors to assess whether a stock is currently overvalued or undervalued.

A high trailing PE ratio may indicate that a stock is overvalued and the company’s share price is not sustainable. Conversely, a low trailing PE ratio may indicate that a stock is undervalued and that the company is a good value investment.

It is important to remember that the trailing PE ratio is just one tool that should be used when considering an investment. Other factors, such as the company’s growth prospects, should also be considered.

Forward PE ratios

The forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio evaluates the stock price in relation to its expected profits over the following 12 months. It is determined by dividing the share’s current price by the average 12-month earnings estimate. The forward P/E ratio is often used to predict future stock performance, with a higher ratio indicating a higher expected return.

A company’s P/E ratio can be affected by several factors, including earnings growth, share repurchases, and changes in the overall market valuation. A higher forward P/E ratio may also indicate investor optimism about the company’s future prospects.

When making financial decisions, investors should consider the forward P/E ratio. The company’s financial health and competitive position should be taken into account before making any decisions.

How is PE Ratio calculated?

Divide the current stock price by the earnings per share to get the PE Ratio. The earnings per share are the percentage of a company’s profit that is allotted to each outstanding share of common stock.

                               Each share’s market value/ current stock price

PE Ratio = ——————————————————————————

                                                   Earnings per share

Limitations of PE Ratio

While the price-to-earnings ratio is a widely used tool to evaluate stocks, it does have its limitations. 

  • One limitation is that it only looks at the stock’s current price without considering its historical price. This can lead to overvaluing stocks that have recently gone up in price and undervalued stocks that have recently gone down in price. 
  • The ratio does not consider the company’s debt-to-equity ratio, which is an important factor in determining a company’s financial health.
  • Another limitation is that it only looks at the company’s earnings without considering other factors, such as debt levels, cash flow, or future growth prospects. 
  • Finally, the P/E ratio is only a snapshot in time and can change rapidly if the stock price or earnings of the company change.


The PE ratio is just one tool investors can use to assess a company, and it should not be used in isolation. However, it can be a helpful tool for investors considering whether to buy, sell, or hold a company’s stock.

The PE ratio is an important tool for valuing companies, but it is not the only metric that should be considered. Other factors, such as the company’s growth rate, profitability, and debt levels, should also be considered. In addition, the PE ratio should be compared to other companies in the same industry to get a more accurate picture of value.

Top 10 Chemical Stocks to Invest in 2024: SMC Web Story Top 10 Capital Goods Stocks to Buy in 2024 – SMC Web Story Top 10 Defence Stocks to buy in 2024 – SMC Web Story Top 10 Banking Stocks to Invest in 2024 – SMC Web Story Top 10 Railway Stocks to Invest in 2024 – SMC Web Story Top 10 PSU Stocks to Invest in 2024 – SMC Web Story Top 10 Dividend Stocks to Invest in 2024 – SMC Web Story Kronox Lab Sciences IPO Details – SMC Webstory Key Difference Between Bond and Debenture – SMC Webstories Key Difference Between Shares & Debentures Explained – SMC Web Stories
Open Free Demat Account