Getting In Cheap On Novanta Inc. (NASDAQ:NOVT) Is Unlikely

Novanta Inc -1.49% Pre

Novanta Inc

NOVT

158.78

158.78

-1.49%

0.00% Pre

When close to half the companies in the Electronic industry in the United States have price-to-sales ratios (or "P/S") below 1.8x, you may consider Novanta Inc. (NASDAQ:NOVT) as a stock to avoid entirely with its 6.9x P/S ratio. Nonetheless, we'd need to dig a little deeper to determine if there is a rational basis for the highly elevated P/S.

View our latest analysis for Novanta

ps-multiple-vs-industry
NasdaqGS:NOVT Price to Sales Ratio vs Industry December 29th 2023

What Does Novanta's Recent Performance Look Like?

Recent times have been advantageous for Novanta as its revenues have been rising faster than most other companies. It seems that many are expecting the strong revenue performance to persist, which has raised the P/S. If not, then existing shareholders might be a little nervous about the viability of the share price.

If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report on Novanta.

How Is Novanta's Revenue Growth Trending?

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

If we review the last year of revenue growth, the company posted a worthy increase of 5.6%. The latest three year period has also seen an excellent 47% overall rise in revenue, aided somewhat by its short-term performance. Accordingly, shareholders would have definitely welcomed those medium-term rates of revenue growth.

Turning to the outlook, the next year should generate growth of 1.1% as estimated by the three analysts watching the company. With the industry predicted to deliver 6.9% growth, the company is positioned for a weaker revenue result.

With this information, we find it concerning that Novanta is trading at a P/S higher than the industry. Apparently many investors in the company are way more bullish than analysts indicate and aren't willing to let go of their stock at any price. There's a good chance these shareholders are setting themselves up for future disappointment if the P/S falls to levels more in line with the growth outlook.

The Final Word

While the price-to-sales ratio shouldn't be the defining factor in whether you buy a stock or not, it's quite a capable barometer of revenue expectations.

We've concluded that Novanta currently trades on a much higher than expected P/S since its forecast growth is lower than the wider industry. The weakness in the company's revenue estimate doesn't bode well for the elevated P/S, which could take a fall if the revenue sentiment doesn't improve. This places shareholders' investments at significant risk and potential investors in danger of paying an excessive premium.

You always need to take note of risks, for example - Novanta has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

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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