When close to half the companies in the Commercial Services industry in the United States have price-to-sales ratios (or "P/S") below 1.2x, you may consider ACV Auctions Inc. (NASDAQ:ACVA) as a stock to avoid entirely with its 5.5x P/S ratio. However, the P/S might be quite high for a reason and it requires further investigation to determine if it's justified.
View our latest analysis for ACV Auctions
What Does ACV Auctions' P/S Mean For Shareholders?
Recent times haven't been great for ACV Auctions as its revenue has been rising slower than most other companies. It might be that many expect the uninspiring revenue performance to recover significantly, which has kept the P/S ratio from collapsing. You'd really hope so, otherwise you're paying a pretty hefty price for no particular reason.If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report on ACV Auctions.
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 ACV Auctions' is when the company's growth is on track to outshine the industry decidedly.
Taking a look back first, we see that the company managed to grow revenues by a handy 8.8% last year. The latest three year period has also seen an excellent 121% overall rise in revenue, aided somewhat by its short-term performance. Accordingly, shareholders would have definitely welcomed those medium-term rates of revenue growth.
Looking ahead now, revenue is anticipated to climb by 28% each year during the coming three years according to the analysts following the company. With the industry predicted to deliver 27% growth each year, the company is positioned for a comparable revenue result.
With this information, we find it interesting that ACV Auctions is trading at a high P/S compared to the industry. It seems most investors are ignoring the fairly average growth expectations and are willing to pay up for exposure to the stock. Although, additional gains will be difficult to achieve as this level of revenue growth is likely to weigh down the share price eventually.
What We Can Learn From ACV Auctions' P/S?
While the price-to-sales ratio shouldn't be the defining factor in whether you buy a stock or not, it's quite a capable barometer of revenue expectations.
Given ACV Auctions' future revenue forecasts are in line with the wider industry, the fact that it trades at an elevated P/S is somewhat surprising. When we see revenue growth that just matches the industry, we don't expect elevates P/S figures to remain inflated for the long-term. A positive change is needed in order to justify the current price-to-sales ratio.
Plus, you should also learn about this 1 warning sign we've spotted with ACV Auctions.
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).
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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.