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A Sliding Share Price Has Us Looking At Expedia Group, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:EXPE) P/E Ratio

Simply Wall St

To the annoyance of some shareholders, Expedia Group (NASDAQ:EXPE) shares are down a considerable 31% in the last month. The recent drop has obliterated the annual return, with the share price now down 22% over that longer period.

Assuming nothing else has changed, a lower share price makes a stock more attractive to potential buyers. While the market sentiment towards a stock is very changeable, in the long run, the share price will tend to move in the same direction as earnings per share. The implication here is that long term investors have an opportunity when expectations of a company are too low. Perhaps the simplest way to get a read on investors' expectations of a business is to look at its Price to Earnings Ratio (PE Ratio). A high P/E ratio means that investors have a high expectation about future growth, while a low P/E ratio means they have low expectations about future growth.

Check out our latest analysis for Expedia Group

How Does Expedia Group's P/E Ratio Compare To Its Peers?

Expedia Group's P/E is 28.01. As you can see below Expedia Group has a P/E ratio that is fairly close for the average for the online retail industry, which is 28.0.

NasdaqGS:EXPE Price Estimation Relative to Market, November 13th 2019

Expedia Group's P/E tells us that market participants think its prospects are roughly in line with its industry. So if Expedia Group actually outperforms its peers going forward, that should be a positive for the share price. I would further inform my view by checking insider buying and selling., among other things.

How Growth Rates Impact P/E Ratios

Generally speaking the rate of earnings growth has a profound impact on a company's P/E multiple. That's because companies that grow earnings per share quickly will rapidly increase the 'E' in the equation. That means even if the current P/E is high, it will reduce over time if the share price stays flat. So while a stock may look expensive based on past earnings, it could be cheap based on future earnings.

It's great to see that Expedia Group grew EPS by 16% in the last year. And earnings per share have improved by 38% annually, over the last three years. With that performance, you might expect an above average P/E ratio.

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

It's important to note that the P/E ratio considers the market capitalization, not the enterprise value. So it won't reflect the advantage of cash, or disadvantage of debt. 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.

Is Debt Impacting Expedia Group's P/E?

Net debt totals just 3.3% of Expedia Group's market cap. It would probably trade on a higher P/E ratio if it had a lot of cash, but I doubt it is having a big impact.

The Bottom Line On Expedia Group's P/E Ratio

Expedia Group trades on a P/E ratio of 28.0, which is above its market average of 18.2. Its debt levels do not imperil its balance sheet and it is growing EPS strongly. Therefore, it's not particularly surprising that it has a above average P/E ratio. Given Expedia Group's P/E ratio has declined from 40.5 to 28.0 in the last month, we know for sure that the market is significantly less confident about the business today, than it was back then. For those who prefer to invest with the flow of momentum, that might be a bad sign, but for a contrarian, it may signal opportunity.

Investors should be looking to buy stocks that the market is wrong about. People often underestimate remarkable growth -- so investors can make money when fast growth is not fully appreciated. 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 be able to find a better stock than Expedia Group. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.

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.