Company valuation with multiples

When it comes to evaluating the value of a company, there are many different methods that investors and analysts use to arrive at a valuation. One popular approach is using multiples, which involves comparing a company’s financial metrics to those of similar companies in the industry. In this blog post, we’ll explore the concept of company valuation with multiples and how it works.

Multiples? Math? College?

Multiples are ratios that are used to compare one company’s financial performance to another’s. They are calculated by dividing a company’s financial metrics (such as earnings, revenue, or book value) by a similar metric for another company in the same industry. The resulting ratio, or multiple, is then used to gauge how the company’s performance compares to others in its peer group.

For example, if company A has a market capitalization of $100 million and its earnings over the past year were $10 million, its price-to-earnings (P/E) multiple would be 10x. If company B is in the same industry as company A and has a similar earnings per share (EPS) of $1, then its P/E multiple would also be 10x. This means that investors are willing to pay the same price for a dollar of earnings from both companies, indicating that they have similar valuations.

Why are we using multiples?

Multiples are a popular valuation method because they are relatively simple to calculate and provide a quick way to compare the relative value of companies in the same industry. They are also useful for identifying companies that are overvalued or undervalued relative to their peers.

Multiples can be applied to a wide range of financial metrics, such as revenue, earnings, book value, and cash flow. Different metrics may be more appropriate for different industries, depending on the nature of their business and the factors that drive their financial performance.

Limit? Limits!

While multiples can be a useful tool for valuing companies, they have some limitations that investors and analysts should be aware of. One key limitation is that multiples do not take into account qualitative factors such as a company’s brand, management team, or competitive position. This means that two companies with similar financial metrics may have different valuations due to differences in their underlying businesses.

Additionally, multiples may not always be a reliable indicator of future performance. For example, a company with a high P/E multiple may be overvalued if its earnings growth slows down or if its industry experiences a downturn.


Company valuation with multiples is a popular and widely used method for comparing the relative value of companies in the same industry. By calculating ratios such as P/E, price-to-book (P/B), and price-to-sales (P/S), investors and analysts can quickly gauge how a company’s financial performance compares to its peers. However, multiples should be used in conjunction with other valuation methods and qualitative factors to arrive at a comprehensive assessment of a company’s worth.

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