Lacklustre Performance Is Driving Zai Lab Limited's (NASDAQ:ZLAB) 29% Price Drop

Zai Lab Limited Unsponsored ADR +7.42% Post

Zai Lab Limited Unsponsored ADR

ZLAB

20.84

20.84

+7.42%

0.00% Post

Unfortunately for some shareholders, the Zai Lab Limited (NASDAQ:ZLAB) share price has dived 29% in the last thirty days, prolonging recent pain. The recent drop completes a disastrous twelve months for shareholders, who are sitting on a 53% loss during that time.

Since its price has dipped substantially, Zai Lab may be sending very bullish signals at the moment with its price-to-sales (or "P/S") ratio of 5.9x, since almost half of all companies in the Biotechs industry in the United States have P/S ratios greater than 14.4x and even P/S higher than 72x are not unusual. Although, it's not wise to just take the P/S at face value as there may be an explanation why it's so limited.

View our latest analysis for Zai Lab

ps-multiple-vs-industry
NasdaqGM:ZLAB Price to Sales Ratio vs Industry March 29th 2024

What Does Zai Lab's P/S Mean For Shareholders?

Recent times haven't been great for Zai Lab 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.

Want the full picture on analyst estimates for the company? Then our free report on Zai Lab will help you uncover what's on the horizon.

How Is Zai Lab's Revenue Growth Trending?

In order to justify its P/S ratio, Zai Lab would need to produce anemic growth that's substantially trailing the industry.

If we review the last year of revenue growth, the company posted a terrific increase of 24%. The latest three year period has also seen an incredible overall rise in revenue, aided by its incredible short-term performance. Accordingly, shareholders would have been over the moon with those medium-term rates of revenue growth.

Shifting to the future, estimates from the twelve analysts covering the company suggest revenue should grow by 52% per annum over the next three years. That's shaping up to be materially lower than the 165% per annum growth forecast for the broader industry.

In light of this, it's understandable that Zai Lab's P/S sits below the majority of other companies. It seems most investors are expecting to see limited future growth and are only willing to pay a reduced amount for the stock.

What We Can Learn From Zai Lab's P/S?

Zai Lab's P/S looks about as weak as its stock price lately. Generally, our preference is to limit the use of the price-to-sales ratio to establishing what the market thinks about the overall health of a company.

As expected, our analysis of Zai Lab's analyst forecasts confirms that the company's underwhelming revenue outlook is a major contributor 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.

Don't forget that there may be other risks. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Zai Lab that you should be aware of.

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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