Benign Growth For Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ:AGEN) Underpins Stock's 25% Plummet

Agenus Inc. +7.30%

Agenus Inc.

AGEN

14.56

+7.30%

Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ:AGEN) shareholders that were waiting for something to happen have been dealt a blow with a 25% share price drop in the last month. The recent drop completes a disastrous twelve months for shareholders, who are sitting on a 60% loss during that time.

Since its price has dipped substantially, Agenus' price-to-sales (or "P/S") ratio of 1.6x might make it look like a strong buy right now compared to the wider Biotechs industry in the United States, where around half of the companies have P/S ratios above 14.4x and even P/S above 72x are quite common. Nonetheless, we'd need to dig a little deeper to determine if there is a rational basis for the highly reduced P/S.

View our latest analysis for Agenus

ps-multiple-vs-industry
NasdaqCM:AGEN Price to Sales Ratio vs Industry March 29th 2024

What Does Agenus' P/S Mean For Shareholders?

Recent times haven't been great for Agenus as its revenue has been rising slower than most other companies. Perhaps the market is expecting the current trend of poor revenue growth to continue, which has kept the P/S suppressed. If this is the case, then existing shareholders will probably struggle to get excited about the future direction of the share price.

Keen to find out how analysts think Agenus' future stacks up against the industry? In that case, our free report is a great place to start.

Do Revenue Forecasts Match The Low P/S Ratio?

The only time you'd be truly comfortable seeing a P/S as depressed as Agenus' is when the company's growth is on track to lag the industry decidedly.

Taking a look back first, we see that the company grew revenue by an impressive 59% last year. Pleasingly, revenue has also lifted 77% in aggregate from three years ago, thanks to the last 12 months of growth. Accordingly, shareholders would have definitely welcomed those medium-term rates of revenue growth.

Looking ahead now, revenue is anticipated to climb by 24% per annum during the coming three years according to the five analysts following the company. With the industry predicted to deliver 165% growth per year, the company is positioned for a weaker revenue result.

With this information, we can see why Agenus is trading at a P/S lower than the industry. It seems most investors are expecting to see limited future growth and are only willing to pay a reduced amount for the stock.

What Does Agenus' P/S Mean For Investors?

Having almost fallen off a cliff, Agenus' share price has pulled its P/S way down as well. 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.

As we suspected, our examination of Agenus' analyst forecasts revealed that its inferior revenue outlook is contributing to its low P/S. Right now shareholders are accepting the low P/S as they concede future revenue probably won't provide any pleasant surprises. It's hard to see the share price rising strongly in the near future under these circumstances.

It's always necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 5 warning signs with Agenus (at least 1 which shouldn't be ignored), and understanding these should be part of your investment process.

If companies with solid past earnings growth is up your alley, you may wish to see this free collection of other companies with strong earnings growth and low P/E ratios.

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