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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 ?
Multiple personality disorder (MPD), now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder, is rare, but Oxnam and his therapist are convincing.
Using detailed examples, he argues that the malleability of mental disorders explains why symptoms of the same condition (depression, say) vary across cultures; why some disorders occur disproportionately among men (substance abuse) or women (bulimia), among people of a certain social class (neurasthenia), or in certain countries (attention deficit disorder); and why diagnoses and the behavior on which they are based suddenly proliferate (as hysteria, anorexia, and multiple personality disorder did) and later become rare or nonexistent.
It is also showing promise with diseases and disorders like Alzheimer's, Down syndrome, multiple sclerosis, paralysis, Parkinson's and multiple personality disorder.
Joseph Mahoney, a Catholic chaplain in Detroit who works with people suffering from multiple personality disorder. "I believe it to be spiritually dangerous, psychologically dangerous and abusive, and scandalous."
Behavior analytic accounts of Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, are rarely presented in detail.
Multiple personality was recognized in DSM III-R under its traditional name 'multiple personality disorder'.
Chapter 8, "Being Multiple," reflects on the relationship between healthy self-fragmentation (seen in channeling) and pathological self-fragmentation (seen in multiple personality disorder).
(1989) 'Multiple Personality Disorder', British Journal of Psychiatry 154, 877.
Thus, following a disappointingly poor essay on Nietzsche and Darwin and an essay on Multiple Personality Disorder, Mensch concludes by arguing a position which takes the world to be "a self-determining plurality of individual activities and actions" (p.
(16) Clinical findings have indicated that multiple personality disorder is in many cases the result of childhood sexual abuse (Kluft 1985).
Recognizing multiple personality disorder. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, 31, 29-31.

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