In the last article on the P/E ratio vs. Growth for some of the largest companies, the question of PEG came up. PEG is the P/E over Growth and it’s a good way to index valuation relative to growth. Usually Growth is measured as the *forward* twelve months consensus and a PEG of 1 is, as a rule of thumb, considered “fair value”. However, forward growth is based on possibly inaccurate analyst consensus. If we instead look at *historic* growth, we have some actual performance to evaluate. Let’s call this PEhG for P/E over historic Growth.

The following chart shows 30 large cap technology companies[1] and their five-year compound EPS growth vs. their current P/E multiples. If we draw a line at the PEhG of 1, i.e. when the P/E ratio is equal to the historic growth rate and split the pack into PEhG > 1 (overvalued)[2] and PehG < 1 (undervalued), we have the following split:

The chart makes for an interesting point of view over what the best positioned companies in the sector are doing and how business model innovation shows up as investment opportunity[2].

Apple, RIM, Google stand out for their business model innovation. Ericsson, Nokia, Yahoo and Dell show poor value for their lack of innovation. Microsoft, IBM, HP, TI and Oracle show in-line value for in-line or sustaining innovation.

[1] I omitted Baidu from the chart as it’s off the scale: Growth is 151, P/E is 108. It would classify as undervalued. These are also not a complete set of all large caps. It’s meant to be indicative.

[2] Notions of value are completely subjective. This does not constitute financial advice.

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