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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 ?
The cause of death was multiple organ failure due to multiple drug overdose.
Washington DC [USA], November 19 ( ANI ): Hollywood star David Cassidy has been hospitalised in Florida and is reportedly in a critical condition due to multiple organ failure.
Assistant deputy coroner Roger Whittaker said Mrs Akhtar had died from multiple organ failure due to major 75% burns all over her body.
Kerstin, 19 - the eldest of seven kids Fritzl had with daughter Elisabeth - is being treated for multiple organ failure.
Mr Ogden, of Cumbernauld, near Glasgow, was pronounced dead on June 10 having suffered multiple organ failure.
Mrs Jones, of Crystionydd, Penycae, Wrexham, died on January 14 at Wrexham Maelor Hospital of multiple organ failure due to legionella pneumonia with a secondary cause of gastric erosions.
Retired nursing home carer Mrs Hudspith, of Biddick Village, near Washington, died of multiple organ failure because her body was too weak to withstand the surgery and complications.
To the Editor: Toxic shock syndrome (TSS), which can be life threatening, is defined by clinical and laboratory evidence of fever, rash, desquamation, hypotension, and multiple organ failure caused by Staphylococcus aureus toxins.
He was taken back into surgery, but suffered multiple organ failure and died on April 28.
Dr Peter Acland, Home Office pathologist, said cause of death was adult respiratory distress and multiple organ failure after Mr O'Toole choked on his own vomit.
Shinohara, 40, died of multiple organ failure at 7:25 a.m.
Summary: Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], October 26 (ANI): Abdul Karim Telgi, a convict in multi-crore fake stamp paper scam, died of multiple organ failure on Thursday in Victoria hospital.

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