# COMPUTATION OF PRICE EARNINGS RATIO (P/E) USING TWELVE MONTH TRAILING AND LEADING EPS

The three stocks selected for the price multiple- Price to Earnings ratio- were Microsoft Corporation, General Electric and Apple Inc. The benchmark was the equity index S&P 500. The P/E ratio helps investors assess the value of a firm. It is one of the most widely used multiple. The multiple relates to the market expectation of the company’s future performance: the greater the expectation, the higher the multiple of current earnings that investors are willing to pay for the promise of future earnings (Bajkowski, 2000)

The formula for assessing the P/E is: Price/Earnings= Stock price / Earnings per share

For Microsoft, the 2017 fiscal year gives the following P/E computation:

Trailing P/E = 87.18/3.46 = 25.20

Leading P/E = 87.18/3.67 = 23.75

For Facebook Inc., the 2017 fiscal year gives the following P/E computation:

Trailing P/E = 159.39/6.16 = 25.88

Leading P/E = 159.39/8.43 = 18.91

For Apple, the 2017 fiscal year gives the following P/E computation:

Trailing P/E = 164.94/9.62 = 17.15

Leading P/E = 164.94/11.39 = 14.48

Using the trailing P/E, Facebook is seen to be overly valued due to the high P/E ratio; Microsoft is overvalued whilst Apple is the undervalued stock. Using thee Leading P/E, Microsoft is the overly valued stock; Facebook and Apple have P/E ratios less than the benchmark P/E thus undervalued.

 Company Trailing P/E Leading P/E Compare Microsoft Corp 25.20 23.75 -17% Apple Inc. 17.15 14.48 +22% Facebook Inc. 25.88 18.91 -19% Benchmark P/E 20.88

COMPUTATION OF PRICE TO EARNINGS RATIO USING FORECASTED FUNDAMENTALS

Usually, the Trailing EPS and Leading EPS are based on previous records contrary to forward EPS that is based on the forecasted fundamentals (Lebdaoui & Wild, 2016).

The formula used is: payout ratio (1+growth rate)/ (return-growth)

For Microsoft: 1.29(1.14)/ (0.11-0.14) = -6.33

For Apple: 0.25(1.17)/ (0.09-0.17) = -0.54

For Facebook: 0(0)/ (0.07-0) = 0

The forecasted fundamentals are not a good measure to determine the stock valuation due to the companies being of High growth rate.

RECOMMENDATON TO INVESTORS

Analysis of the three companies shows that the investor should invest in Microsoft due to its high P/E ratio in both leading and trailing that indicates future profitability.

COMPUTATION FOR THE PRICE TO BOOK RATIO (P/B)

This ratio is used to assess ho well management can create more value from a given set of assets. The ratios are computed as follows:

P/B= stock price/ book value per share

Book value per share= (Assets-Liabilities)/ shares outstanding

For Microsoft, the 2017 fiscal year gives the following P/B computation:

P/B = 87.18/11.39 = 7.65

For Facebook, the 2017 fiscal year gives the following P/B computation:

P/B = 159.39/31.03 = 5.14

For Apple, the 2017 fiscal year gives the following P/B computation:

P/B = 164.94/26.42 = 6.24

All the ratios are high and thus indicate that all three stocks are overvalued. However, computing the P/B using the forecasted fundamentals shows a different picture:

P/B Forecasted= (return on equity-growth rate)/ (rate of return-growth rate)

For Microsoft, the 2017 fiscal year gives the following forecasted P/B computation:

P/B = (29%-14%)/ (11%-14%) = -5.66

For Facebook, the 2017 fiscal year gives the following forecasted P/B computation:

P/B = (21%-0%)/ (7%-0%) = 3.24

For Apple, the 2017 fiscal year gives the following forecasted P/B computation:

P/B = (36%-17%)/ (9%-17%) = -2.36

In light of the second computation, only Facebook shows a high P/B in both cases while Apple and Microsoft are undervalued with negative P/B ratios.

RECOMMENDATION TO INVESTORS

The investors should consider the company with a promising future return on their investments thus should give first priority to Facebook

RECOMMENDATION WHEN COMPARING P/E TO P/B

The P/E ratio is more popular in use as the P/B can be manipulated due to different accounting standards. Thus, if the investor is comparing the companies using both ratios, then Microsoft would be the best choice to invest in.

ABSOLUTE VALUATION MODELS

These are valuation models used to compare the worth of the different competitors.

DIVIDEND DISCOUNT MODEL

This model is based on the fact that the future cash flows an investor expects to receive from his stocks are be future cash dividends (Chaplinsky, 2008)

The formula for DDM is given as:

Value of stock = Dividend per share/ (discount rate-dividend growth rate)

For Microsoft, the DDM is:

DDM = 1.62/ (11%-14%)

= -58.91

For Apple, the DDM is:

DDM = 2.42/ (9%-17%)

= -30.36

For Facebook, the DDM is:

DDM = 0/ (7%-0)

= 0

FREE CASHFLOW TO FIRM MODEL

The FCFF is the cash that is available to the investors after the company pays out its expense. The formula used is:

FCFF = Cash Flow Operations + Interest Expenses * (1 – Tax Rate) – Capital Expenditure

For Microsoft, the FCFF is:

39,507+2,637*(1-0.3)-8,696 = 32654.8

For Apple, the FCFF is:

63,598+2,532*(1-0.3)-12,339 = 53,031.40

For Facebook, the FCFF is:

24,216+0+6,733= 30,949

FREE CASHFLOW TO EQUITY

The model valuates the amount of cash available to the shareholders after accounting for all liabilities.

The formula is given by:

FCFE = Net Income – Net Capital Expenditure – Change in Net Working Capital + New Debt – Debt Repayment

For Microsoft, the 2017 fiscal year gives the following FCFE:

FCFE= 25,489-8,696-14,404+3,637

=6,026

For Apple, the 2017 fiscal year gives the following:

FCFE = 48351-12339-28463+33600

= 41,149

For Facebook, the 2017 fiscal year gives the following

FCFE = 15,934-(-6,733)-1,887+0

=20,780

ANALYSIS OF THE RESULTS FOR THE MODELS

The models give different values depending on the financial indicators used. Concerning the DDM, all the Microsoft and Apple are seen to have negative DDMs while Facebook has zero as it does not pay out dividends. This observation shows that DDM may not be a reliable measure for valuing fast growing companies.

Considering the remaining two indicators: FCFE AND FCFF, Apple has the highest FCFF and FCFE showing its potential financial performance and has more available cash to give to shareholders.

REASONS FOR DIFFERENT INTRINSIC VALUES

The intrinsic value for the FCFF and FCFE are different due to the fact that the free cash flow to the firm values the equity stake and other claimholders in the business (bondholders, preferred stockholder etc.). The FCFE takes into account only the equity stake in the firm.

## References

Bajkowski, J. (2000). Evaluating using Price to Earnings Relatives. American Association of Individual Investors.

Chaplinsky, S. (2008). The Dividend Discount Model. Darden Business Publishing.

Lebdaoui, H., & Wild, J. (2016). Islamic Banking and Financial Development. Review of Middle

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