© Shutterstock.com

The price-to-book ratio, or P / B ratio, is one of several metrics that help analysts and investors assess the value of a company. This specific metric compares a company’s stock price to its book value. P / B ratios compare the company’s market capitalization to its book value and indicate whether a stock is trading below or above market value.

In general, a lower P / C ratio is better, but lower values are not always good. According to Forbes, when investing in value, investors often analyze the P / B ratio.

Read on to learn more about P / E ratio and how analysts use it to assess a company’s worth.

## How to calculate the P / B ratio

The P / E ratio is an essential metric for investors to understand the value of a company. To find a P / E ratio, divide a particular company’s share price per share by its book value per share. To find the book value per share, take the book value and divide it by the total number of shares outstanding.

Take the stock of an imaginary company as an example. For example, let’s say the company has a market capitalization of $ 1 billion and its stock is currently trading at $ 10.

This hypothetical company has $ 100 million in assets and $ 50 million in liabilities on its balance sheet. Hence, the book value of this company is $ 50 million. If this company had 10 million shares outstanding, its book value per share would be $ 5.

## The P / B ratio formula

Divide the market price per share by the book price per share using the P / B ratio formula. The P / E ratio for this imaginary company is 2. In other words, the stock trades at double book value.

Lower P / E ratios can identify stocks that are undervalued or cheap. According to Forbes, any value below 1.0 indicates a potential bargain. However, some growth companies can trade for multiples of their book value. So it depends on which sector you are evaluating.

Conversely, the price-to-book ratio of a share increases with the market price. For example, Zoom’s net worth rose in 2020 as the business world shifted to remote working and virtual conferencing. As the share price rose, so did the P / E ratio.

### What is the book value?

One way to understand book value is, in essence, the net asset value of a company if it were to be liquidated. It is calculated by subtracting a company’s intangible assets and liabilities from its total assets. In other words, it’s the value the company would have on a balance sheet.

## Keep in mind

A low P / E ratio can also be a warning sign of other problems in a company. Remember, when the stock price goes down, the P / B ratio goes down. As a result, a company whose share price is falling due to some problem of any kind will also have its P / B ratio falling.

## Always consult other benchmarks

Note that the P / E ratio only refers to a company’s share price compared to its book value. This metric does not take into account other factors such as sales or profits. It is certainly not advisable to judge a company’s worth by its P / E ratio alone. This ratio is just one of many important valuation metrics that analysts and investors should study.

There are other important ways to research stocks:

P / E ratio is helpful, but it shouldn’t be the only metric used to decide whether to invest in a company.

## frequently asked Questions

### How are P / B ratios helpful?

A price-to-book ratio is a useful measure that value investors calculate to identify potentially undervalued stocks. The metric indicates the value that investors place on a company’s equity relative to its book value.

A company with a higher net book value has solid financial health for its investors. It’s a simple filter that some investors use to filter investment opportunities.

### What is a good P / B ratio?

As with most scoring measures, there is no single answer to what constitutes a “good” numerical score. While lower P / E ratios are generally better, it’s important to use the metric as a relative comparison to other companies of the same size and in the same industry.

For a company with a high P / E ratio, you should study its financial metrics further to see if this valuation makes sense.

### What are the limits of the P / B ratio?

The price-to-book ratio takes book value into account, which means it can suffer the effects of large and sudden expenses. This can happen because of accounting practices that require companies to recognize these expenses immediately.

One example of this is the expenditure on research and development. R&D expenses affect a company’s book value even if its investors value such R&D efforts as a potential book for the company in the future. Forbes rightly points out that context determines whether intangible assets are hidden value or a value killer in a company.

Book values can be negative when a company is generating a series of negative profits. This is where the metric becomes almost useless for comparing the value of similar companies.

Comparing the P / E ratios of companies of all sizes or companies in different industries is a waste of time. To get the most of this relative comparison, compare companies with similar market capitalizations within the same industry.

### What is the difference between the P / B and P / E ratios?

The P / E ratio measures the intrinsic value of a company based on its book value. It takes into account assets, liabilities and intangible assets. The price / earnings ratio, on the other hand, measures the value of a company based on its profits.

Both of these metrics can help investors measure the value of a company. It is important to compare the P / B ratios between companies of similar size in the same industry.

Our in-house research team and local financial experts work together to produce content that is accurate, impartial, and current. We review every single statistic, quote, and fact against trusted primary resources to ensure the information we provide is accurate. You can find out more about the processes and standards of GOBankingRates in our editorial guidelines.