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P/E ratios

Price/earnings ratios are used for many purposes, including investment analysis, company valuation and client benchmarking. On this page we look at the sources available for P/E/ ratios.

What's in this guide?

  • Definitions and explanations
  • Sources for current and historic P/E ratios
  • Sources for prospective P/E ratios
  • Sources for P/E ratios on 31st March 1982
  • Further reading

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A company's price/earnings (P/E) ratio can be calculated by dividing the current market price of a share by the earnings per share (EPS). A high P/E ratio means the company is highly-rated by the stock market, suggesting that investors think its prospects are good.

More extensive explanations of these terms are provided by a number of books in our collection, including The Financial Times Guide to Investing and The Financial Times Guide to using the Financial Pages.

An explanation of the use of P/E ratios from a valuation perspective can be found in Determining Value and Valuation of Unquoted Companies.

Current and historical P/E ratios

The Financial Times publishes P/E ratios for companies and industry sectors in its 'Companies and Markets' section.
The FT Data Archive provides scans of the relevant tables for the last five years. Select the category Equities and the report FTSE Actuaries Share Indices - UK Series.
The Library & Information Service also holds the FT on microfilm from 1975 onwards.

The Risk Measurement Service is a quarterly publication from London Business School. It provides data on the yield and earnings multiple (including the net yield and P/E ratio) for 3,000 UK shares, including every UK stock with a full listing on the London Stock Exchange and all AIM listed stocks. The listings of companies are arranged alphabetically and by sector, with tables for the highest and lowest P/E ratios.
The Library & Information Service holds the Risk Measurement Service from 2008 onwards.

Prospective P/E ratios

Company REFS is a quarterly publication providing prospective P/E ratios for individual companies (including fully listed companies and AIM listed companies) for the next 12 months. It also publishes price-earnings growth factors.

P/E ratios on 31st March 1982

Valuation of Unquoted Companies includes an appendix with 31 March 1982 valuations, providing P/E ratios for individual companies and sectors.

The relevant tables are:
F:1 FT Actuaries Share Indices as at 31 March 1982.
F:3 Selected investment statistics (including fully taxed P/E ratios) for constituents of the FT-Actuaries All-Share Index as at 31 March 1982.

Articles and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post, fax or email through our document supply service.

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