HomeAway has c.82 million shares outstanding, and in the first half of 2012 the company generated post amortization net income of US$5,3 million.
If we assume the second semester could amount to c.60% of total 2012E profits (a not too aggressive assumption for a company with reasonable revenue growth), the forecast 2012E net income would jump to c.US$13.1 million.
We now calculate the company's market cap (US$25 * 82 million shares outstanding) and divide it by that forecast 2012E net income of US$13.1 million. The sky high multiple drops to a very punchy but much more down to earth current year P/E multiple of 155x. The cash P/E (excluding amortization) would be significantly lower.
Take home message? Beware of overly simplified publicly available valuation related information. It could be off by a very wide and error inducing margin.