With a median price-to-sales (or "P/S") ratio of close to 1x in the Aerospace & Defense industry in Australia, you could be forgiven for feeling indifferent about Orbital Corporation Limited's (ASX:OEC) P/S ratio, which comes in at 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.
What Does Orbital's P/S Mean For Shareholders?
For instance, Orbital's receding revenue in recent times would have to be some food for thought. Perhaps investors believe the recent revenue performance is enough to keep in line with the industry, which is keeping the P/S from dropping off. If not, then existing shareholders may be a little nervous about the viability of the share price.
Want the full picture on earnings, revenue and cash flow for the company? Then our free report on Orbital will help you shine a light on its historical performance.
Is There Some Revenue Growth Forecasted For Orbital?
Orbital's P/S ratio would be typical for a company that's only expected to deliver moderate growth, and importantly, perform in line with the industry.
Retrospectively, the last year delivered a frustrating 7.0% decrease to the company's top line. As a result, revenue from three years ago have also fallen 20% overall. Accordingly, shareholders would have felt downbeat about the medium-term rates of revenue growth.
Comparing that to the industry, which is predicted to deliver 13% 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 find it worrying that Orbital's P/S exceeds that of its industry peers. It seems most investors are ignoring the recent poor growth rate and are hoping for a turnaround in the company's business prospects. Only the boldest would assume these prices are sustainable as a continuation of recent revenue trends is likely to weigh on the share price eventually.
The Key Takeaway
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.
Our look at Orbital revealed its shrinking revenues over the medium-term haven't impacted the P/S as much as we anticipated, given the industry is set to grow. When we see revenue heading backwards in the context of growing industry forecasts, it'd make sense to expect a possible share price decline on the horizon, sending the moderate P/S lower. Unless the recent medium-term conditions improve markedly, investors will have a hard time accepting the share price as fair value.
It is also worth noting that we have found 4 warning signs for Orbital (1 is potentially serious!) that you need to take into consideration.
If you're unsure about the strength of Orbital's business, why not explore our interactive list of stocks with solid business fundamentals for some other companies you may have missed.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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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