With a price-to-sales (or "P/S") ratio of 4.9x Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ:AGEN) may be sending very bullish signals at the moment, given that almost half of all the Biotechs companies in the United States have P/S ratios greater than 11.5x and even P/S higher than 50x are not unusual. Nonetheless, we'd need to dig a little deeper to determine if there is a rational basis for the highly reduced P/S.
What Does Agenus' P/S Mean For Shareholders?
Agenus hasn't been tracking well recently as its declining revenue compares poorly to other companies, which have seen some growth in their revenues on average. Perhaps the P/S remains low as investors think the prospects of strong revenue growth aren't on the horizon. If you still like the company, you'd be hoping this isn't the case so that you could potentially pick up some stock while it's out of favour.
Keen to find out how analysts think Agenus' future stacks up against the industry? In that case, our free report is a great place to start.
Is There Any Revenue Growth Forecasted For Agenus?
In order to justify its P/S ratio, Agenus would need to produce anemic growth that's substantially trailing the industry.
In reviewing the last year of financials, we were disheartened to see the company's revenues fell to the tune of 67%. This means it has also seen a slide in revenue over the longer-term as revenue is down 35% in total over the last three years. Accordingly, shareholders would have felt downbeat about the medium-term rates of revenue growth.
Shifting to the future, estimates from the five analysts covering the company suggest revenue should grow by 12% per annum over the next three years. With the industry predicted to deliver 92% growth each year, the company is positioned for a weaker revenue result.
With this in consideration, its clear as to why Agenus' P/S is falling short industry peers. It seems most investors are expecting to see limited future growth and are only willing to pay a reduced amount for the stock.
The Key Takeaway
It's argued the price-to-sales ratio is an inferior measure of value within certain industries, but it can be a powerful business sentiment indicator.
We've established that Agenus maintains its low P/S on the weakness of its forecast growth being lower than the wider industry, as expected. At this stage investors feel the potential for an improvement in revenue isn't great enough to justify a higher P/S ratio. It's hard to see the share price rising strongly in the near future under these circumstances.
And what about other risks? Every company has them, and we've spotted 5 warning signs for Agenus (of which 2 can't be ignored!) you should know about.
If these risks are making you reconsider your opinion on Agenus, explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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