Price-earnings ratio

Definition:

Shows the multiple of earnings at which a stock sells. Determined by dividing current stock price by current earnings per share (adjusted for stock splits). Earnings per share for the P/E ratio are determined by dividing earnings for past 12 months by the number of common shares outstanding. Higher multiple means investors have higher expectations for future growth, and have bid up the stock's price.

Investing Essentials


Copyright © 2011 Campbell R. Harvey, Professor of Finance, Fuqua School of Business at Duke University

Term of the Day

Short squeeze

When a lack of supply tends to force prices upward. In particular, when prices of a stock or commodity futures contracts start to move up sharply and many traders with short positions are forced to... Read More

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