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Price-Earnings Ratio

The price of a security per share at a given time divided by its annual earnings per share. Often, the earnings used are trailing 12 month earnings, but some analysts use other forms. The P/E ratio is a way to help determine a security's stock valuation, that is, the fair value of a stock in a perfect market. It is also a measure of expected, but not realized, growth. Companies expected to announce higher earnings usually have a higher P/E ratio, while companies expected to announce lower earnings usually have a lower P/E ratio. See also: PEG
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


1. In stock-index futures, the number multiplied by the futures price to determine the value of the contract. For example, the $500 multiple of the Standard & Poor's Midcap Index is multiplied by the futures price to determine the value of one contract. Thus, a futures price of $230 would yield a contract value of $115,000 ($500 × $230).
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.


A stock's multiple is its price-to-earnings ratio (P/E). It's figured by dividing the market price of the stock by the company's earnings.

The earnings could be the actual earnings for the past four quarters, called a trailing P/E. Or they might be the actual figures for the past two quarters plus an analyst's projection for the next two, called a forward P/E.

Investors use the multiple as a way to assess whether the price they are paying for the stock is justified by its earnings potential. The higher the multiple they are willing to accept, the higher their expectations for the stock.

However, some investors reject stocks with higher multiples, since it may be impossible for the stock to meet the market's expectations.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Research: Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) is a major cause of mortality in intensive care units.
Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) is a common critical illness, referring to the occurrence of simultaneous or sequential organ or system dysfunction 24 h after severe infection, wound shock, major surgery, severe pancreatitis, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation or other protopathies (1).
2009: Former South Korean president and 2000 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Kim Dae-jung died of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Record numbers of students were offered university places, as the latest A-level results showed the gap between boys and girls achieving the top grades had narrowed for the first time in five years.
Novel therapeutic targets for acute pancreatitis and associated multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. Curr Drug Targets Inamm Allergy.
In the mouse multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) models set up by an intraperitoneal injection of yeast polysaccharide, Lu et al .
INTRODUCTION: Sepsis is the most common cause of death in patients in the intensive care unit, and often leads to the development of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS).
The patient died 24 h after admission, after having developed multiple organ dysfunction syndrome.

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