What Is the Price/Sales Ratio?

What Is the Price/Sales Ratio?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

The Price/Sales (P/S) ratio is a valuation ratio that compares a company’s stock price to its revenues. It is an indicator of the value placed on each dollar of a company’s sales or revenues. To calculate it, you simply take the market capitalization of a company (the price of the stock multiplied by the number of outstanding shares) and divide it by the company’s total sales or revenue over the past 12 months.

This ratio can be useful for investors when assessing the value of a company’s stock, particularly those in the growth phase with little or no net income. A lower P/S ratio could potentially signify a more attractive investment option, however, because P/S ratios can vary substantially between different sectors, it’s best to compare P/S ratios among companies in the same industry.

Related Questions

1. How is the P/S ratio different from the P/E ratio?

The P/S ratio compares stock price to revenue, while the Price/Earnings (P/E) ratio compares stock price to net income. Both provide insight into a company’s value, but P/S is often preferable for businesses with low or no net income.

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2. When can the P/S ratio be misleading?

While P/S ratio can be beneficial in assessing a company’s value, it can be misleading if a company has low profit margins or inconsistent revenue. A low P/S might not always mean a good deal and a higher P/S could suggest future growth.

3. Can the P/S ratio help with investment decisions?

Yes, it can provide helpful insight into a company’s value relative to its revenue. However, it should not be used in isolation. It’s best to consider other financial metrics and aspects of the company as well.

4. What is a good P/S ratio?

There isn’t necessarily a “good” P/S ratio as it can vary greatly among industries. However, in general, a lower P/S ratio could potentially indicate a more favorable investment opportunity.

5. Do all investors use the P/S ratio?

Not all investors use the P/S ratio. It does not account for expenses or debt, so some investors may prefer other financial indicators that provide a more complete picture of a company’s financial health and profitability.