You may think that with a price-to-sales (or "P/S") ratio of 0.1x Inca One Gold Corp. (CVE:INCA) is definitely a stock worth checking out, seeing as almost half of all the Metals and Mining companies in Canada have P/S ratios greater than 2.3x and even P/S above 16x aren't out of the ordinary. Nonetheless, we'd need to dig a little deeper to determine if there is a rational basis for the highly reduced P/S.
For instance, Inca One Gold's receding revenue in recent times would have to be some food for thought. One possibility is that the P/S is low because investors think the company won't do enough to avoid underperforming the broader industry in the near future. Those who are bullish on Inca One Gold will be hoping that this isn't the case so that they can pick up the stock at a lower valuation.Want the full picture on earnings, revenue and cash flow for the company? Then our free report on Inca One Gold will help you shine a light on its historical performance.
In order to justify its P/S ratio, Inca One Gold would need to produce anemic growth that's substantially trailing 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 15%. Regardless, revenue has managed to lift by a handy 28% in aggregate from three years ago, thanks to the earlier period of growth. Accordingly, while they would have preferred to keep the run going, shareholders would be roughly satisfied with the medium-term rates of revenue growth.
Comparing the recent medium-term revenue trends against the industry's one-year growth forecast of 18% shows it's noticeably less attractive.
In light of this, it's understandable that Inca One Gold's P/S sits below the majority of other companies. Apparently many shareholders weren't comfortable holding on to something they believe will continue to trail the wider industry.
Using the price-to-sales ratio alone to determine if you should sell your stock isn't sensible, however it can be a practical guide to the company's future prospects.
As we suspected, our examination of Inca One Gold revealed its three-year revenue trends are contributing to its low P/S, given they look worse than current industry expectations. At this stage investors feel the potential for an improvement in revenue isn't great enough to justify a higher P/S ratio. If recent medium-term revenue trends continue, it's hard to see the share price experience a reversal of fortunes anytime soon.
It is also worth noting that we have found 4 warning signs for Inca One Gold (3 are a bit concerning!) that you need to take into consideration.
Of course, profitable companies with a history of great earnings growth are generally safer bets. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have reasonable P/E ratios and have grown earnings strongly.
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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.