Definition of Price/Sales Stock terms & definitions

Price to sales ratio is a company's stock price compared to its revenues.

The price to sales ratio, Price/Sales ratio, P/S ratio, or PSR, is a valuation metric for stocks. It is calculated by dividing the company's market cap by the revenue in the most recent year. It can also be calculated by dividing the per-share stock price by per-share revenue. The price to sales ratio is for trailing twelve months so the reported sales are for the four previous quarters. Longer time periods can be examined at times.

A smaller price to sales ratio is usually thought to be a better investment since the investor is paying less for each unit of sales. However, sales do not reveal the whole picture, as the company may be unprofitable with a low P/S ratio. Because of the limitations, this ratio is usually used only for unprofitable companies, since they don't have a price to earnings ratio (P/E ratio). The metric can be used to determine the value of a stock relative to its past performance. It may also be used to determine relative valuation of a sector or the market as a whole.

Price to sales ratios vary greatly between sectors, so they are most useful in comparing similar stocks within a sector or sub-sector. Comparing P/S ratios carries the implicit assumption that all firms in the comparison have an identical capital structure.