Trailing P/E And Forward P/E Ratio

What is Trailing P/E

After adjusting for inflation, the trailing price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) is a relative valuation multiple calculated using the most recent 12 months of actual earnings. A company's market capitalization is calculated by multiplying the current stock price by the trailing earnings per share (EPS) for the previous 12 months. The trailing P/E can be contrasted with the forward P/E, which calculates the price-to-earnings ratio using projected future earnings instead of historical earnings.

The trailing P/E can be contrasted with the forward P/E, which calculates the price-to-earnings ratio using projected future earnings instead of historical earnings.


Formula of Trailing P/E

Trailing P/E = Current Per Share Price of a stock / EPS from the previous year


Importance of Trailing P/E

It is critical for investors, in particular, to understand how much money is being paid for each dollar that a company generates in its bottom line. Taking advantage of profits at a low cost is a rare opportunity, and an investor who can take advantage of it will have struck gold. It is important for an investor to understand why a company's costs are excessive in comparison to its earnings.

In addition, as previously discussed, the trailing P/E ratio provides the most accurate picture of a company's true worth and the value of its stock because it is calculated based on historical earnings per share rather than projected earnings, rather than projected earnings.




What is forward P/E

The forward price-to-earnings ratio, it is calculated by dividing the current share price of a company by the estimated future earnings per share (EPS) of that company (referred to as the forward P/E ratio). A forward price-to-earnings ratio (P/E ratio) is typically considered more relevant for valuation purposes than a historical P/E ratio.


Formula of forward P/E

Forward P/E = Current Share Price / Estimated Future Earnings per Share

A share's current price is defined as its current market price at the time of purchase, and predicted future earnings are defined as the forecasted earnings per share of the company's stock. Profits that are forecasted can be for the upcoming 12 months or for the upcoming full-year fiscal period, depending on the circumstances.


Limitation Of Forward P/E

  • Because the forward price to earnings ratio is based on future performance earnings or estimates, it is vulnerable to miscalculation or biasness on the part of analysts.

  • When financial results are announced, companies may choose to under- or overestimate their earnings in order to compete with the consensus estimate of earnings.

  • When an external analyst provides their numbers or estimates, it may cause confusion because the numbers or estimates may differ from the actual company estimates.

  • In addition, relying solely on the forward price to earnings ratio for our analysis is not as secure as if the company unexpectedly updates its guidance; our analysis could be thrown to the wind.

  • Because the forecasting method used varies from analyst to analyst, reaching a consistent consensus is extremely difficult.

  • Because accounting gains and charges can always inflate or deflate profits and losses, the earnings will always differ from what is actually happening in the scenario.

Trailing vs. Forward P/E

This is in contrast to the forward P/E ratio, which is calculated using earnings estimates or forecasts for the next four quarters or the next projected 12 months of earnings, respectively. Therefore, when evaluating a company, the forward price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) can be more relevant to investors. However, because forward P/E is based on estimated future earnings, it is susceptible to miscalculation and/or analyst bias. A company's earnings may also be underestimated or misstated in order to beat the consensus estimate P/E in the following quarter's earnings report. Both of these ratios are useful when making acquisition decisions. It is important to note that the trailing P/E ratio is an indicator of the past performance of the company that is being acquired. The company's guidance for the future is represented by the forward P/E ratio. Typically, the latter ratio is used to determine the value of an acquired company. An earnout provision, on the other hand, allows the buyer to lower the acquisition price while maintaining the option of making an additional payout if the targeted earnings are achieved.