Stag Industrial (NYSE: STAG), a real estate firm with a market capitalization of $2.4 billion, currently trades at a Sales Multiple of 12.1x which is above the sector’s median multiple of 10.0x. Although this makes STAG look unattractive, investors may change their mind after reviewing the assumptions behind the EV / Sales ratio. In the post below, I calculate Stag Industrial’s fair value using a Sales Multiples valuation.
How To Interpret Stag Industrial’s Sales Multiple
A multiples valuation, also known as a comparable companies analysis, determines the value of a subject company by benchmarking the subject’s financial performance against companies deemed to be similar. We can then determine if a company is undervalued or overvalued relative to its peers by comparing metrics like growth, profit margin, and valuation multiples.
EV / Sales, also known as Enterprise Value-to-Sales Multiple or a Sales Multiple, measures the dollars in Enterprise Value for each dollar of revenue. Its key benefit over the P/E multiple is that it’s capital structure-neutral, and, therefore, better at comparing companies with different levels of debt. The general formula behind a Sales Multiples valuation model is the following:
Enterprise Value = Revenue x Selected Multiple
The EV / Sales ratio by itself is not very helpful at all. It is only useful when comparing it to other companies that are considered similar to the subject company. The basic idea is that companies with similar characteristics should trade at similar multiples, all other things being equal. Therefore, we can come to a conclusion about the stock if the ratios are different. In the chart below, I compare Stag Industrial’s EV / Sales ratio to its peer group that includes EastGroup Properties, Inc. (NYSE: EGP), Rexford Industrial Realty, Inc. (NYSE: REXR), DCT Industrial Trust Inc (NYSE: DCT) and Terreno Realty Corporation (NYSE: TRNO).
Since Stag Industrial’s EV / Sales ratio of 12.1x is lower than the median of its peers (17.1x), it means that investors are paying less than they should for each dollar of STAG’s revenue. As such, our analysis shows that STAG represents an undervalued stock. Furthermore, finbox.io’s EV / Sales Ratio Model calculates a fair value of $36.14 per share which implies big upside.
I selected a fair multiple of 16.0x in my analysis by averaging Stag Industrial’s current EV / Sales ratio with its peer group.
Sales Multiple Flaws
While this approach typically provides a reasonable valuation range, it is important to understand that our conclusion rests on some important assumptions. The first being that the selected peer group actually contains companies that truly are similar to Stag Industrial. The second important assumption is that the selected peer group stocks are being fairly valued by the market.
If the assumptions above do not hold to be true, then the difference in EV / Sales ratios could be due to a variety of factors. For example, if you accidentally compare Stag Industrial with higher growth companies, then its sales multiple would naturally be lower than its peers since investors reward high growth stocks with a higher price. Furthermore, sales multiples are highly correlated with EBITDA margins so differences in profit margin often explain differences in valuation.
source: sales multiples model
Now if the second assumption does not hold true, Stag Industrial’s lower multiple may be because firms in our peer group are being overvalued by the market.
What To Do Next
As a current investor, you may have already conducted fundamental analysis on the company and its stock so its current undervaluation could signal a potential buying opportunity to increase your position in STAG. But keep in mind the EV / Sales ratio’s potential flaws when applying this valuation approach. It is important to note that there are a variety of other fundamental factors that I have not taken into consideration in this article. I highly recommend that you continue your research on Stag Industrial by taking a look at the following:
Valuation Metrics: how much upside do shares of Stag Industrial have based on Wall Street’s consensus price target? Take a look at our analyst upside data explorer that compares the company’s upside relative to its peers.
Risk Metrics: how is Stag Industrial’s financial health? Find out by viewing our financial leverage data metric which plots the dollars in total assets for each dollar of common equity over time.
Efficiency Metrics: is management becoming more or less efficient over time? Find out by analyzing the company’s asset turnover ratio which measures the dollars in revenue a company generates per dollar of assets.
Author: Brian Dentino
Expertise: financial technology, analyzing market trends
Brian is a founder at finbox.io, where he’s focused on building tools that make it faster and easier for investors to research stock fundamentals. Brian’s background is in physics & computer science and previously worked as a software engineer at GE Healthcare. He enjoys applying his expertise in technology to help find market trends that impact investors.
Brian can be reached at email@example.com.
As of this writing, Brian did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities and this is not a buy or sell recommendation on any security mentioned.