Subdued Growth No Barrier To FriendTimes Inc. (HKG:6820) With Shares Advancing 27%

Simply Wall St ·  Oct 18, 2023 18:27

FriendTimes Inc. (HKG:6820) shareholders would be excited to see that the share price has had a great month, posting a 27% gain and recovering from prior weakness. Unfortunately, the gains of the last month did little to right the losses of the last year with the stock still down 12% over that time.

Although its price has surged higher, you could still be forgiven for feeling indifferent about FriendTimes' P/S ratio of 1.5x, since the median price-to-sales (or "P/S") ratio for the Entertainment industry in Hong Kong is about the same. Although, it's not wise to simply ignore the P/S without explanation as investors may be disregarding a distinct opportunity or a costly mistake.

View our latest analysis for FriendTimes

SEHK:6820 Price to Sales Ratio vs Industry October 18th 2023

What Does FriendTimes' P/S Mean For Shareholders?

While the industry has experienced revenue growth lately, FriendTimes' revenue has gone into reverse gear, which is not great. One possibility is that the P/S ratio is moderate because investors think this poor revenue performance will turn around. If not, then existing shareholders may 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 FriendTimes.

How Is FriendTimes' Revenue Growth Trending?

The only time you'd be comfortable seeing a P/S like FriendTimes' is when the company's growth is tracking the industry closely.

In reviewing the last year of financials, we were disheartened to see the company's revenues fell to the tune of 18%. As a result, revenue from three years ago have also fallen 33% overall. Accordingly, shareholders would have felt downbeat about the medium-term rates of revenue growth.

Turning to the outlook, the next year should generate growth of 28% as estimated by the three analysts watching the company. That's shaping up to be materially lower than the 51% growth forecast for the broader industry.

With this information, we find it interesting that FriendTimes is trading at a fairly similar P/S compared to the industry. It seems most investors are ignoring the fairly limited growth expectations and are willing to pay up for exposure to the stock. These shareholders may be setting themselves up for future disappointment if the P/S falls to levels more in line with the growth outlook.

The Final Word

Its shares have lifted substantially and now FriendTimes' P/S is back within range of the industry median. 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.

Given that FriendTimes' revenue growth projections are relatively subdued in comparison to the wider industry, it comes as a surprise to see it trading at its current P/S ratio. At present, we aren't confident in the P/S as the predicted future revenues aren't likely to support a more positive sentiment for long. This places shareholders' investments at risk and potential investors in danger of paying an unnecessary premium.

It's always necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with FriendTimes (at least 1 which makes us a bit uncomfortable), and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

If you're unsure about the strength of FriendTimes' business, why not explore our interactive list of stocks with solid business fundamentals for some other companies you may have missed.

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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.

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