CAPE & P/E Ratios by Sector 1979 – 2021

The table below lists the current & historical CAPE ratios by Sector, calculated using the 500 largest public U.S. companies. If the Shiller PE ratio of a sector is lower than its historical average, this might indicate that the sector is currently undervalued and vice versa. The overall CAPE of the U.S. stock market as a whole is currently 34.77 (Jan 8th, 2021).

For the latest figures & full historical data, check the sector valuation datasets by Siblis Research.

CAPE Ratio by Sector (Large Cap U.S. Companies)

GICS Sector 12/31/2020 6/30/2020 12/31/2019 6/30/2019 12/31/2018 6/30/2018
Communications 39.85 34.02 35.41 33.18 30.46 39.45
Consumer Discretionary 57.90 40.95 37.55 39.53 36.32 44.50
Consumer Staples 28.27 24.15 25.92 24.19 21.57 22.53
Energy 22.09 17.47 24.21 26.09 23.09 27.76
Financials & Real Estate 17.80 14.64 19.72 19.73 19.42 23.23
Health Care 32.22 29.39 30.57 28.18 27.30 26.56
Industrials 23.93 18.59 23.10 22.75 19.45 21.62
Information Technology 42.33 36.54 33.83 31.20 26.68 31.76
Materials 31.32 24.47 27.13 28.50 29.31 32.56
Utilities 30.16 27.94 32.30 30.41 26.07 25.73

Need the latest data? Subscribe to our U.S. Stock Market Sector & Industry Key Valuation Metrics dataset which provides you historical P/E (TTM) ratios, P/B ratios, CAPE ratios, Free Cash Flow yields & EV/EBITDA multiples by Sector & Industry (calculated using the 500 largest public companies at a given date), including annual sector performance data. Check a sample dataset from here.

Sector Specific CAPE Shiller PE
A clear negative correlation exists between the CAPE ratio of Consumer Staples sector and the sector performance. The forward return means the rate of return during the period of three years from the point of investment.

How are the sector specific Shiller PE ratios calculated?

Below is a short summary how the values are calculated. Examine the researcher dataset with full raw data to see the actual formulas that have been used.

  1. Collect quarterly earnings, outstanding shares and share prices of the selected companies for the required period.
  2. Calculate the total earnings of all companies part of a sector.
  3. Apply consumer price index (CPI) factors to adjust the earnings for inflation.
  4. Calculate 10-year average of CPI-adjusted trailing twelve months earnings.
  5. Calculate total market capitalization of companies part of a sector for the required period. Make sure to include only companies that were part of the index during a specific time.
  6. Calculate CAPE ratio of a sector by dividing the total market cap of the companies part of a sector by the CPI-adjusted 10-year average earnings.

Maybe the best way to familiarize yourself with how the CAPE ratio is calculated is to check the Excel-file that Professor Robert Shiller is publicly sharing. The file contains both the monthly data and the simple formulas used to calculate the ratio for the whole S&P 500 index. Calculating the sector specific ratios require some extra adjustments because the amount of companies belonging to a specific sector keeps changing. For example, the financials crisis of 2008 decreased the number of financial companies part of the index from 96 to 87.

The earnings are adjusted for inflation using Consumer Price Index.

Shiller PE Undervalued sectors CAPE

Shiller PE and sector performance

Can the CAPE ratio be used to indicate what will be the long term performance of a specific sector? In a white paper published by Barclay’s research department and Professor Shiller (to promote the new ETN/Exchange Traded Note created by the bank), the group developed a sector rotation strategy that outperformed annual returns of S&P 500 total return index with nearly 4%. The returns are indeed impressive but it is always easy to beat the market using historical data. Time will tell if the CAPE ratio remains a useful indicator.

In February 2015, Ossiam launched an exchange traded fund (The Ossiam Shiller Barclays Cape Europe Sector Value) that revolves around European equities following the same strategy described in the paper. The ETF is traded on the London Stock Exchange.

Comparing the valuations of different sectors using CAPE

The CAPE ratios varies substantially between the sectors. In December 2015, consumer discretionary segment’s PE 10 ratio was three times higher than the ratio of energy companies. Does this mean that consumer discretionary companies are seriously overvalued?

Comparing the valuations of different industries is tricky. Investors have different expectation for the timeframe of future earnings of different companies. For some new and hot high-tech firm, most of the company’s value is based on hopes of fast growth and the current earnings of the company do not really matter. But for mature firms, the retained earnings in short timeframe are much more important. The same holds true for the whole sectors: expectations of when the money is coming in are not the same.

However, someone might raise the point that the average 10-year price-earnings of IT companies has been higher than the P/E of energy firms and utilities all the time for the past 30 years. This raises the question if the hopes of the investors have been constantly too high for some industries.

Some sectors traditionally viewed as cyclical, like consumer discretionary and IT, have higher average CAPE than defensive like utilities and consumer staples. But the average Shiller price-earnings ratios of consumer staples (defensive), health care (defensive), materials (cyclical) and industrials (cyclical) are very close to each other.

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