When you see that almost half of the companies in the Pharmaceuticals industry in South Africa have price-to-sales ratios (or "P/S") above 0.9x, Ascendis Health Limited (JSE:ASC) looks to be giving off some buy signals with its 0.3x P/S ratio. Although, it's not wise to just take the P/S at face value as there may be an explanation why it's limited.
How Has Ascendis Health Performed Recently?
For example, consider that Ascendis Health's financial performance has been poor lately as its revenue has been in decline. It might be that many expect the disappointing revenue performance to continue or accelerate, which has repressed the P/S. If you 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.Want the full picture on earnings, revenue and cash flow for the company? Then our free report on Ascendis Health will help you shine a light on its historical performance.
How Is Ascendis Health's Revenue Growth Trending?
The only time you'd be truly comfortable seeing a P/S as low as Ascendis Health's is when the company's growth is on track to lag the industry.
Taking a look back first, the company's revenue growth last year wasn't something to get excited about as it posted a disappointing decline of 26%. This means it has also seen a slide in revenue over the longer-term as revenue is down 71% in total over the last three years. Accordingly, shareholders would have felt downbeat about the medium-term rates of revenue growth.
Comparing that to the industry, which is predicted to deliver 9.2% growth in the next 12 months, the company's downward momentum based on recent medium-term revenue results is a sobering picture.
With this in mind, we understand why Ascendis Health's P/S is lower than most of its industry peers. Nonetheless, there's no guarantee the P/S has reached a floor yet with revenue going in reverse. Even just maintaining these prices could be difficult to achieve as recent revenue trends are already weighing down the shares.
The Final Word
Generally, our preference is to limit the use of the price-to-sales ratio to establishing what the market thinks about the overall health of a company.
Our examination of Ascendis Health confirms that the company's shrinking revenue over the past medium-term is a key factor in its low price-to-sales ratio, given the industry is projected to grow. Right now shareholders are accepting the low P/S as they concede future revenue probably won't provide any pleasant surprises either. Given the current circumstances, it seems unlikely that the share price will experience any significant movement in either direction in the near future if recent medium-term revenue trends persist.
Don't forget that there may be other risks. For instance, we've identified 4 warning signs for Ascendis Health (2 are significant) you should be aware of.
If these risks are making you reconsider your opinion on Ascendis Health, explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there.
Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.
Find out whether Ascendis Health 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.View the Free Analysis
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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.