Stock Analysis

What You Can Learn From ServiceNow, Inc.'s (NYSE:NOW) P/S

NYSE:NOW
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You may think that with a price-to-sales (or "P/S") ratio of 17x ServiceNow, Inc. (NYSE:NOW) is a stock to avoid completely, seeing as almost half of all the Software companies in the United States have P/S ratios under 4.2x and even P/S lower than 1.7x aren't out of the ordinary. Although, it's not wise to just take the P/S at face value as there may be an explanation why it's so lofty.

View our latest analysis for ServiceNow

ps-multiple-vs-industry
NYSE:NOW Price to Sales Ratio vs Industry March 18th 2024

What Does ServiceNow's Recent Performance Look Like?

With revenue growth that's superior to most other companies of late, ServiceNow has been doing relatively well. It seems that many are expecting the strong revenue performance to persist, which has raised the P/S. If not, then existing shareholders might be a little nervous about the viability of the share price.

If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report on ServiceNow.

What Are Revenue Growth Metrics Telling Us About The High P/S?

The only time you'd be truly comfortable seeing a P/S as steep as ServiceNow's is when the company's growth is on track to outshine the industry decidedly.

If we review the last year of revenue growth, the company posted a terrific increase of 24%. The strong recent performance means it was also able to grow revenue by 99% in total over the last three years. Accordingly, shareholders would have definitely welcomed those medium-term rates of revenue growth.

Shifting to the future, estimates from the analysts covering the company suggest revenue should grow by 21% per annum over the next three years. Meanwhile, the rest of the industry is forecast to only expand by 15% per year, which is noticeably less attractive.

In light of this, it's understandable that ServiceNow's P/S sits above the majority of other companies. Apparently shareholders aren't keen to offload something that is potentially eyeing a more prosperous future.

What Does ServiceNow's P/S Mean For Investors?

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.

As we suspected, our examination of ServiceNow's analyst forecasts revealed that its superior revenue outlook is contributing to its high P/S. It appears that shareholders are confident in the company's future revenues, which is propping up the P/S. Unless the analysts have really missed the mark, these strong revenue forecasts should keep the share price buoyant.

It's always necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with ServiceNow, and understanding should be part of your investment process.

If strong companies turning a profit tickle your fancy, then you'll want to check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a low P/E (but have proven they can grow earnings).

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether ServiceNow is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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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.