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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 preterm babies born as a result of IVF were named as the study group and the preterm babies born as a result of spontaneous multiple pregnancies were named as the control group.
How should randomised trials including multiple pregnancies be analysed?
"For example, not all women with multiple pregnancies are cared for in dedicated settings such as 'twin clinics' or by multidisciplinary teams of healthcare professionals."
"First of all, [make] appropriate patient selection; for example, [be] cautious when treating younger women because of their increased risk of multiple pregnancies," she said.
Marut says women still choose to have many embryos implanted despite the risks of multiple pregnancies. Dr.
The condition may affect anyone but is more common in newborns and women with multiple pregnancies.
"This includes those who smoke during pregnancy, were older or had conceived via assisted conception, which in turn can lead to multiple pregnancies."
In Sweden concern about the risks of multiple pregnancies to mother and child led to a change in practice in the 1990s from three-embryo to two-embryo transfers, resulting in a 70% decrease in preterm births following IVF.
But multiple pregnancies pose serious risks for both mothers and babies.
We quantified fetal DNA by real-time PCR of SRY (10) in maternal plasma in a cohort of 73 multiple pregnancies (68 twin and 5 triplet), among which 55 carried at least one male fetus (53 twins and 2 triplets).
New regulations are set to be introduced at the end of this month to reduce multiple pregnancies, with the aim of cutting the number of selective abortions being carried out.
This reduces the number of embryos implanted and increases the number of successful implantations, while also reducing the number of multiple pregnancies. Note that most embryos (up to 19 out of 20), conceived in IVF clinics eventually die.

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