A stock’s price-to-sales ratio reflects how much investors are paying for each dollar of revenues generated by the company.
If the price-to-sales ratio is 1, it means that investors are paying $1 for every $1 of revenues generated by the company. So, it goes without saying that a stock with a price-to-sales below 1 is a good bargain, as investors need to pay less than a dollar for a dollar’s worth.
Thus, a stock with a lower price-to-sales ratio is a more suitable investment versus a stock with a high price-to-sales ratio.
Though Price-to-Earnings is the first thing to cross one’s mind while using valuation metrics, Price-to-Sales has emerged as a convenient tool to determine the value of stocks that are incurring losses or are in an early cycle of development, generating meager or no profits.
While a loss-making company with a negative price-to-earnings ratio falls out of investor favor, price-to-sales could indicate the hidden strength of its business. This underrated ratio is also used to identify a recovery situation or ensure that a company's growth is not overvalued.
Price-to-sales is often preferred over price-to-earnings as companies can manipulate their earnings using various accounting measures. However, sales are harder to manipulate and are relatively reliable.
However, one should keep in mind that a company with high debt and low price-to-sales is not an ideal choice. The high debt level will have to be paid off at some point, leading to further share issuance and a rise in market cap and ultimately a higher price-to-sales ratio.
In any case, the price-to-sales ratio used in isolation cannot do the trick. One should also analyze other ratios like Price/Earnings, Price/Book and Debt/Equity before arriving at any investment decision.
Price to Sales less than Median Price to Sales for its Industry: The lower the price-to-sales ratio, the better.
Price to Earnings using F(1) estimate less than Median Price to Earnings for its Industry: The lower, the better.
Price to Book (common Equity) less than Median Price to Book for its Industry: This is another parameter to ensure the value feature of a stock.
Debt to Equity (Most Recent) less than Median Debt to Equity for its Industry: A company with less debt should have a stable price-to-sales ratio.
Current Price greater than or equal to $5: The stocks must all be trading at a minimum of $5 or higher.
Zacks Rank less than or equal to #2: Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or #2 (Buy) stocks are known to outperform irrespective of the market environment.
Value Score less than or equal to B: Our research shows that stocks with a Value Score of A or B when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or #2 offer the best opportunities in the value investing space.
Here are seven of the 19 stocks that qualified the screening:
Magna International Inc. (MGA - Free Report) is a leading manufacturer and supplier of automotive components. Based in Aurora, Canada, the company is a designer and manufacturer of automotive systems, assemblies, modules and components, apart from engineering and assembling complete vehicles, primarily for sale to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of cars and light trucks. This Zacks Rank #2 company has a 3–5 year EPS growth rate of 8.5% and a Value Score of A.
MGM Growth Properties LLC (MGP - Free Report) engages in owning, acquiring, and leasing casino resort properties in the United States. These resorts provide casino gaming, hotel, convention, dining, entertainment, retail and other amenities. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Value Score of A. It also has an estimated 3–5 year EPS growth rate of 10%.
Domtar Corporation (UFS - Free Report) manufactures and distributes a wide array of fiber-based products including communication papers, specialty and packaging papers and adult incontinence products. Domtar also owns and operates an extensive network of strategically located paper and printing supplies distribution facilities. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 and a Value Score of B. It has a 3–5 year EPS growth rate of 5%.
Hitachi Ltd. (HTHIY - Free Report) produces sells, and services information and telecommunication systems, power systems, social infrastructure and industrial systems, electronic systems and equipment, construction machinery, functional materials and components, automotive systems, and smart life and eco-friendly systems worldwide. It has a 3–5 year EPS growth rate of 13%. The stock has a Value Score of A and a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal (MT - Free Report) is the world’s leading steel and mining company. With a presence in more than 60 countries, it operates a balanced portfolio of cost competitive steel plants across both the developed and developing worlds. The company has a Value Score of A and a Zacks Rank #1.
Nashville, TN-based Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LPX - Free Report) manufactures building products primarily for use in new home construction, repair and remodeling, and outdoor structures, as well as light industrial and commercial construction applications. This Zacks Rank #2 company has a 3-5 years EPS growth rate of 5% and a Value Score of A.
Xcerra Corporation (XCRA - Free Report) is a provider of test and handling capital equipment, interface products, and test fixtures and related services to the semiconductor and electronics manufacturing industries worldwide. This Zacks Rank #2 company has a 3–5 year EPS growth rate of 12%. The stock has a Value Score of B.
You can get the rest of the stocks on this list by signing up now for your 2-week free trial to the Research Wizard and start using this screen in your own trading. Further, you can also create your own strategies and test them first before taking the investment plunge.
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Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.
Disclosure: Performance information for Zacks’ portfolios and strategies are available at: https://www.zacks.com/performance.
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