26 PE Ratios For 4 Tickers

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Includes: CSCO, EXCOF, MA
by: Steven Miller

Summary

26 PE ratios of four stocks are shown from nine websites.

Discussion of some the variances is given.

Investor bewareː Ratios on financial websites are usually accurate, but they should be verified.

I recently published an article showing a wide divergence of PEG ratios for various stocks. The Seeking Alpha editor of that article awarded it an Editor's Choice and encouraged me to explore more along similar lines. This article is a quick study on the PE ratio.

I selected four tickers from the stocks in the PEG study: Cisco (CSCO), Mastercard (MA), and Exco Technologies (OTCPK:EXCOF, XTC.TO). I selected Cisco because it had the widest variance between PEG ratios in the previous study and Mastercard because it had the least variance. I again selected Exco Technologies because it is a Canadian company, and coverage was found to be lacking in the previous study for stocks outside of the U.S.

The PE ratios were all found on Saturday, July 22nd, when the market was closed. I could not find numbers from Interactive Brokers or Schwab unless I opened an account, so they have been excluded from this study.

The PE ratios did not vary as widely as the PEG ratios did. This was expected, since the growth component is not present in PE ratios as they are for PEG ratios. The PE ratios nevertheless vary more than might be hoped:

Company

Cisco

Exco Technologies

Mastercard

Ticker

CSCO

EXCOF

XTC.TO

MA

Portals

BigCharts

16

9.86

9.38

33.75

GuruFocus

16.08

9.98

-

33.75

Morningstar

16.2

9.6

9.5

33.5

Morningstar [Forward PE]

13.3

8

8

25.6

Seeking Alpha [TTM]

16

9.86

-

33.75

Yahoo Finance [TTM]

16.16

9.95

9.54

33.75

Zacks (Forward PE)

14.79

-

-

30.07

Brokers

Fidelity [TTM]

16

7.52

-

33.75

Fidelity [5-year average]

14.34

10.89

-

27.03

Scottrade

16.1

9.5

-

33.8

TD Ameritrade

16.1

-

-

33.81

Once again, the PE ratios were most consistent for Mastercard. The three TTM PEs were identical at 33.75 and matched those from BigCharts and GuruFocus. Presumably, BigCharts and GuruFocus are also reporting TTM figures. Morningstar was marginally lower at 33.50, and the brokers Scottrade and TD Ameritrade were marginally higher at 33.80 and 33.81, respectively.

The TTM PE ratios did not vary as greatly for Cisco as the PEG ratio did. They ranged between 16.00 and 16.20. Some of the differences can be explained by rounding and decimal places used. For instance, the 16.08 PE that GuruFocus reported is 16.0 if only one decimal place is used, and that is the number that BigCharts, Fidelity, and Seeking Alpha reported. Rounding up the second decimal of 16.08 results in 16.10, and that is the number Scottrade and TD Ameritrade reported.

Not one of the PEs was the same for the two Exco Technologies tickers. Particularly disconcerting was Fidelity’s 7.52 TTM PE for EXCOF. This is quite out of range of the other TTM PEs for the ticker, which range between 9.50 from Scottrade and 9.98 from Guru Focus.

However, Fidelity was the only site that offered a five-year average PE to compare against the TTM PE, which I thought was a nice feature.

Morningstar offered both a PE and a forward PE but in different areas of the page, which might take the unwary by surprise if they are not paying attention. The forward PE from Morningstar varies significantly with Zacks's forward PE. Neither Morningstar nor Zacks offer their calculations for forward PE, so there is no way to verify them.

Once again, the numbers were less forthcoming for the Canadian stock. The only sites to offer PE ratios for XTC.TO (on the Toronto exchange) were BigCharts, Morningstar, and Yahoo Finance. GuruFocus probably would if I bought a Global Premium membership, but I did not pay up to find out.

Conclusions

Many of the PE ratios of a stock vary from site to site, but usually not significantly and especially not for TTM figures. The differences can generally be attributed to rounding or the number of decimal places used. However, outliers such as Fidelity’s PE for EXCOF do occur. Due diligence calls for verifying figures, either by checking SEC filings, or at least by cross checking against other sites.

Care should be taken to understand which calculation is being used. A PE ((TTM)) ratio will be significantly different than a forward PE. A five-year PE average will differ yet again with the other two ratios.

Disclosure: I am/we are long MA, EXCOF.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Editor's Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.