The forward price to earnings (P/E) is the measure of a company's P/E ratio using its expected earnings. You could calculate a company's forward P/E for the next fiscal year in Microsoft Excel.
The formula for the forward P/E is a company's market price per share divided by its expected earnings per share (EPS). In Microsoft Excel, first, increase the widths of column A, B, and C by right-clicking on each of the columns and left clicking on "Column Width..." and change the value to 30.
Assume you wanted to compare the forward P/E ratio between two companies in the same sector. Enter the name of the first company into cell B1 and the name of the second company into cell C1.
Enter "Market Price per Share" into cell A2 and the corresponding values for the companies' market price per share into cells B2 and C2. Next, enter "Forward Earnings per Share" into cell A3 and the corresponding value for the companies' expected EPS for the next fiscal year into cells B3 and C3. Then, enter "Forward Price to Earnings Ratio" into cell A4.
For example, assume company ABC is currently trading at $50 and has an expected EPS of $2.60. Enter "Company ABC" into cell B1. Next, enter "=50" into cell B2 and "=2.6" into cell B3. Then, enter "=B2/B3" into cell B4. The resulting forward P/E ratio for company ABC is 19.23.
On the other hand, company DEF currently has a market value per share of $30 and has an expected EPS of $1.80. Enter "Company DEF" into cell C1. Next, enter "=30" into cell C2 and "=1.80" into cell C3. Then, enter "=C2/C3" into cell C4. The resulting forward P/E for company XYZ is 16.67.
Since the company ABC has a higher forward P/E ratio than company DEF; this indicates that investors expect higher earnings in the future from company ABC than company DEF.