Cheetah Mobile Inc.'s (NYSE:CMCM) Share Price Boosted 27% But Its Business Prospects Need A Lift Too

Cheetah Mobile, Inc. ADR Class A -3.42%

Cheetah Mobile, Inc. ADR Class A

CMCM

5.36

-3.42%

The Cheetah Mobile Inc. (NYSE:CMCM) share price has done very well over the last month, posting an excellent gain of 27%. Taking a wider view, although not as strong as the last month, the full year gain of 23% is also fairly reasonable.

Even after such a large jump in price, Cheetah Mobile's price-to-sales (or "P/S") ratio of 0.9x might still make it look like a strong buy right now compared to the wider Software industry in the United States, where around half of the companies have P/S ratios above 4.4x and even P/S above 12x 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Cheetah Mobile

ps-multiple-vs-industry
NYSE:CMCM Price to Sales Ratio vs Industry March 29th 2024

How Has Cheetah Mobile Performed Recently?

For example, consider that Cheetah Mobile's financial performance has been poor lately as its revenue has been in decline. Perhaps the market believes the recent revenue performance isn't good enough to keep up the industry, causing the P/S ratio to suffer. Those who are bullish on Cheetah Mobile will be hoping that this isn't the case so that they can pick up the stock at a lower valuation.

Although there are no analyst estimates available for Cheetah Mobile, take a look at this free data-rich visualisation to see how the company stacks up on earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Is There Any Revenue Growth Forecasted For Cheetah Mobile?

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

Retrospectively, the last year delivered a frustrating 24% decrease to the company's top line. The last three years don't look nice either as the company has shrunk revenue by 57% in aggregate. Therefore, it's fair to say the revenue growth recently has been undesirable for the company.

Comparing that to the industry, which is predicted to deliver 15% growth in the next 12 months, the company's downward momentum based on recent medium-term revenue results is a sobering picture.

In light of this, it's understandable that Cheetah Mobile's P/S would sit below the majority of other companies. Nonetheless, there's no guarantee the P/S has reached a floor yet with revenue going in reverse. Even just maintaining these prices could be difficult to achieve as recent revenue trends are already weighing down the shares.

What We Can Learn From Cheetah Mobile's P/S?

Even after such a strong price move, Cheetah Mobile's P/S still trails the rest of the 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.

It's no surprise that Cheetah Mobile maintains its low P/S off the back of its sliding revenue over the medium-term. At this stage investors feel the potential for an improvement in revenue isn't great enough to justify a higher P/S ratio. Given the current circumstances, it seems unlikely that the share price will experience any significant movement in either direction in the near future if recent medium-term revenue trends persist.

Before you take the next step, you should know about the 3 warning signs for Cheetah Mobile (1 shouldn't be ignored!) that we have uncovered.

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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