Revenues Tell The Story For NL Industries, Inc. (NYSE:NL) As Its Stock Soars 46%

NL Industries, Inc. -1.91%

NL Industries, Inc.

NL

6.16

-1.91%

NL Industries, Inc. (NYSE:NL) shareholders would be excited to see that the share price has had a great month, posting a 46% gain and recovering from prior weakness. Looking further back, the 22% rise over the last twelve months isn't too bad notwithstanding the strength over the last 30 days.

After such a large jump in price, when almost half of the companies in the United States' Commercial Services industry have price-to-sales ratios (or "P/S") below 1.2x, you may consider NL Industries as a stock probably not worth researching with its 2.2x P/S ratio. Nonetheless, we'd need to dig a little deeper to determine if there is a rational basis for the elevated P/S.

See our latest analysis for NL Industries

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

How NL Industries Has Been Performing

For example, consider that NL Industries' financial performance has been poor lately as its revenue has been in decline. It might be that many expect the company to still outplay most other companies over the coming period, which has kept the P/S from collapsing. You'd really hope so, otherwise you're paying a pretty hefty price for no particular reason.

Want the full picture on earnings, revenue and cash flow for the company? Then our free report on NL Industries will help you shine a light on its historical performance.

Do Revenue Forecasts Match The High P/S Ratio?

The only time you'd be truly comfortable seeing a P/S as high as NL Industries' is when the company's growth is on track to outshine the industry.

In reviewing the last year of financials, we were disheartened to see the company's revenues fell to the tune of 3.2%. Even so, admirably revenue has lifted 41% in aggregate from three years ago, notwithstanding the last 12 months. So we can start by confirming that the company has generally done a very good job of growing revenue over that time, even though it had some hiccups along the way.

Comparing that to the industry, which is only predicted to deliver 8.4% growth in the next 12 months, the company's momentum is stronger based on recent medium-term annualised revenue results.

In light of this, it's understandable that NL Industries' P/S sits above the majority of other companies. It seems most investors are expecting this strong growth to continue and are willing to pay more for the stock.

The Bottom Line On NL Industries' P/S

NL Industries shares have taken a big step in a northerly direction, but its P/S is elevated as a result. Typically, we'd caution against reading too much into price-to-sales ratios when settling on investment decisions, though it can reveal plenty about what other market participants think about the company.

As we suspected, our examination of NL Industries revealed its three-year revenue trends are contributing to its high P/S, given they look better than current industry expectations. In the eyes of shareholders, the probability of a continued growth trajectory is great enough to prevent the P/S from pulling back. Barring any significant changes to the company's ability to make money, the share price should continue to be propped up.

It's always necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with NL Industries, and understanding should be part of your investment process.

If you're unsure about the strength of NL Industries' business, why not explore our interactive list of stocks with solid business fundamentals for some other companies you may have missed.

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