Where can I find the historical PE ratio for a given stock market sector or industry?
February 23, 2008 8:32 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find the historical PE ratio for a given stock market sector or industry? When you get a stock quote from Yahoo Finance, the historical prices page tells you what the stock sold for on a given day. The competitors page shows the average PE ratio for that stock's industry. I am looking for something kind of in-between — namely, to find out what the PE was for a given industry/sector was on a given date. Where can I find this information online?
posted by tomwheeler to Work & Money (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you are looking for historic P/E ranges for an industry I'm not sure you can get that for free on the net.

I usually see it in sell-side strategy pieces or quant boutique sell-side stuff. If you have access to that sort of stuff I highly recommend the Empirical Partners stuff. They are a equity quant research boutique. They publish this sort of stuff all the time. Also similar historic P/CF and P/B metrics. Only sell-side research I read.
posted by JPD at 8:54 AM on February 23, 2008

Well, this might take a while, but you can get a stock's historic P/E on BigCharts.com (on the left menu bar, go to "lower indicators" and then select P/E ratio". You could adjust the chart period to quarterly or monthly, then build an aggregate for an industry by taking the major players who account for ~90% of market share (depending on industry).

On a general note, formulating composite earnings multiples is part science and part art -- like it or not, there is a lot of wiggle room.
posted by fourstar at 9:53 AM on February 23, 2008

Alternatively, you could try to find someone who has access to Capital IQ
posted by fourstar at 9:55 AM on February 23, 2008

Marking all three as best answers, because they collectively explain where to get complete (for pay) data and also how to piece it together for free.
posted by tomwheeler at 9:21 AM on February 24, 2008

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