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  • What is P/E Ratio|Types, Examples, and Calculation 

What is P/E Ratio|Types, Examples, and Calculation 

What is P/E Ratio|Types, Examples, and Calculation 

The Indian stock market offers exciting opportunities for wealth creation. But before you dive in, it's crucial to understand how to value companies. That's where the Price-to-Earnings Ratio (P/E Ratio) comes in. It's a simple yet powerful tool that helps you assess a stock's price relative to its profitability.

This blog is a helpful guide for Indian investors and explains everything that you need to know about the P/E Ratio, including:

  • What is the P/E Ratio?
  • Why is the P/E Ratio important?
  • Types of P/E Ratios
  • How to Calculate the P/E Ratio
  • Interpreting the P/E Ratio (Examples for Indian Companies)
  • Is there a "Good" P/E Ratio?

  • Limitations of the P/E Ratio

  • How to Use P/E Ratio?

What is the P/E Ratio?

Imagine you're buying a bar of your favorite chocolate. You wouldn't just pick the most expensive one, right? You'd probably consider the taste, size, and of course, the price. Similarly, the P/E Ratio helps you evaluate a company's stock price by comparing it to its earnings.

Here's the formula:

P/E Ratio = Market Price per Share / Earnings per Share (EPS)

  • Market Price per Share: This is the current price you'd pay to buy one share of the company's stock on the stock exchange.
  • Earnings per Share (EPS): This represents the company's profit per share of outstanding stock. Think of it as the company's "earning power" per share.

Why is the P/E Ratio Important?

The P/E Ratio helps you understand:

Relative Value

A high P/E Ratio might indicate that the stock is expensive compared to its current earnings. A low P/E Ratio might suggest the stock is undervalued.

Growth Potential

  • Companies with high growth prospects often have higher P/E Ratios as investors are willing to pay more for future earnings potential.


  •  You can compare the P/E Ratios of similar companies within the same industry to see which one might be relatively more attractive.

Types of P/E Ratios

There are various P/E Ratios, each offering a slightly different perspective

Trailing P/E Ratio 

This uses the company's past 12 months' earnings (TTM) to calculate the P/E Ratio. It provides a historical perspective on the company's performance.

Forward P/E Ratio

This uses analysts' estimates of the company's future earnings to calculate the P/E Ratio. It reflects investor expectations for the company's growth.

PEG Ratio (Price/Earnings to Growth Ratio)

This P/E Ratio factors in the company's growth rate (usually based on earnings growth) to provide a more comprehensive valuation picture.

Absolute P/E Ratio

This is the classic P/E Ratio, calculated by dividing the current stock price by the company's earnings per share (EPS).

Relative P/E Ratio

This compares a company's P/E Ratio to a benchmark, like the industry average P/E or its own historical P/E. A lower relative P/E (compared to the benchmark) suggests potential undervaluation.

How to Calculate the P/E Ratio

Let's use a real-life example to understand how to calculate the P/E Ratio:

  • Company: Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)
  • Current Stock Price (as of February 24, 2024): ₹2,500

Step 1: Find the Earnings per Share (EPS)

We'll need to refer to RIL's financial statements or financial websites to find the EPS. Let's assume the EPS for the latest financial year is ₹50.

Step 2: Apply the P/E Ratio Formula

P/E Ratio = ₹2,500 (Stock Price) / ₹50 (EPS) = 50


RIL's current P/E Ratio is 50. This indicates that investors are willing to pay ₹50 for every rupee of RIL's current earnings.

Examples of P/E Ratios for Indian Companies



Current Stock Price (as of Feb 24, 2024)




P/E Ratio

Infosys Ltd.










Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.





Is there a "Good" P/E Ratio?

The concept of a "good" P/E ratio is subjective and depends on several factors. However, it can be a helpful tool for comparing similar companies within the same industry. Here's a breakdown to consider:

  • Generally: A lower P/E ratio can indicate a potentially undervalued stock, while a higher P/E ratio might suggest an overvalued one. However, this is a simplified view.
  • Industry Benchmark: Different industries have different average P/E ratios. For example, technology companies tend to have higher P/E ratios due to their high growth potential. You should compare a company's P/E ratio to the average P/E ratio of its industry sector.
  • Growth Expectations: Investors are often willing to pay a higher P/E ratio for companies with strong future growth prospects. So, a high P/E ratio might be justified for a fast-growing company.

Limitations of the P/E Ratio

  • Doesn't Consider Future Growth: The P/E Ratio primarily focuses on past earnings. It might not accurately reflect a company's future growth potential.
  • Ignores Debt: A company with high debt might have a lower P/E Ratio simply because more of its earnings go towards servicing debt.
  • Industry Variations: P/E Ratios can vary significantly across different industries. Comparing a tech company's P/E Ratio to a steel company's wouldn't be very helpful.

How to Use P/E Ratio?

The P/E ratio is a valuable tool for investors, but it's important to understand how to use it effectively. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Find the company's P/E ratio: This information is readily available on most financial websites or through the company's investor relations section.
  2. Identify the industry average P/E ratio: You can find industry averages through financial publications or investment research websites.
  3. Compare the company's P/E ratio to the industry average:
    • A lower P/E ratio might suggest the stock is undervalued compared to its peers.
    • A higher P/E ratio might indicate the stock is priced for future growth or is potentially overvalued.
  4. Consider the company's growth prospects: A high P/E ratio might be justified if the company has a strong track record of earnings growth and future potential.
  5. Look beyond the P/E ratio: Don't base your investment decisions solely on the P/E ratio. Analyze other financial metrics like profitability, debt levels, and cash flow to get a more complete picture of the company's health.

By following these steps and understanding the limitations of the P/E ratio, you can use it as a valuable tool for making informed investment decisions.


The P/E Ratio is a fundamental tool for every Indian investor's toolkit. It provides a quick and easy way to assess a stock's relative value based on its current earnings. While it shouldn't be the sole factor in your investment decisions, understanding how to interpret the P/E Ratio can give you a significant edge in the Indian stock market.




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