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According to the Google search of NYSEARCA: HYG, that fund has a P/E ratio of 20.89. Which makes no sense, since bonds have yields (this one currently returns 5.04%), not earnings.

So, what does that stat mean?

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Yes, makes no sense. Other sources like Yahoo Finance or Bloomberg don't show P/E for HYG, as one would expect.

Only thing that comes to mind is that the figure 20.89 roughly corresponds to the yield (1/20.89=4.79%), so most likely the computers came to this P/E by dividing NAV by interest income for some period, but who knows what the exact calculation was (backward or forward looking and which period, gross or net of management fees, whatever).

It is unlikely to be related to actual P/E of the companies whose bonds are in the HYG portfolio, because some of the issuers don't have publicly traded shares.

Anyway, I agree P/E makes no sense for a bond fund, because bond holders don't get anything of those earnings.

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