• Type:
  • Category:

The Enterprise Value To Sales Ratio (EV/S): A Guide for Investors – seat11a

Unpacking the Magic of the Enterprise Value to Sales Ratio (EV/S)  The Enterprise Value to Sales Ratio (EV/S), a potent financial compass for investors, presents a simple yet insightful method for appraising a company's worth relative to its revenue. This ratio is an investor's torch in the often misty company valuation landscape, helping identify potential investment gems.
DALL·E 2023 10 16 21.53.19 Illustration of an explorer in a misty forest holding up a lantern with the glowing letters EV S casting a bright light. This light reveals a pathw min - The Enterprise Value To Sales Ratio (EV/S): A Guide for Investors - seat11a -%sitename%
Sanjay Oberoi

Sanjay Oberoi

worked for numerous big names in the sector, including Fidelity Investment, Allianz Global Investor, Union Investment, and Kepler Cheuvreux.

The EV/S Ratio in Industry Comparisons

Competitive benchmarking, often seen as the epic confrontation of industry giants, offers a comprehensive insight into a business’s performance compared to its closest rivals. Taking the case of the EV/S ratio (Enterprise Value to Sales ratio), it serves as an invaluable yardstick for measuring the economic efficiency of companies. Consider two industry titans in the retail sector:

Company A vs. Company B

Company A, flaunting an impressive enterprise value of $5 billion and raking in annual sales of $2 billion. This juggernaut faces its formidable counterpart, Company B, which commands an enterprise value of $7 billion and reports yearly sales touching the $3 billion mark. Acting as the impartial judge in this face-off, the EV/S ratio gives investors a clear-eyed perspective on which company delivers better bang for the buck in terms of sales value. Diving into the figures, Company B emerges superior, touting an EV/S ratio of 2.33, marginally outshining Company A, which registers an EV/S score of 2.5. This head-to-head battle underscores the EV/S ratio’s indispensable role as a yardstick for parallel comparisons within identical industries.

Cross-Sector Comparisons: A Clash of Industry Titans

Moving beyond the confines of similar sectors, the EV/S ratio shines just as brightly in cross-sector assessments. Highlighting its broad applicability, imagine a scenario where:

Company C vs. Company D

Company C, a behemoth in the healthcare realm with a towering enterprise value of $10 billion and annual sales of $2 billion, challenges Company D, the reigning champ of the technology world, boasting an enterprise value of $30 billion and annual sales amassing a whopping $10 billion. Despite the Goliath enterprise value commanded by Company D, it’s the EV/S figure that draws our focus. Company D’s EV/S metric of 3 is overshadowed by Company C’s ratio of 5, signifying that, in the hyper-competitive technology arena, Company D might present a more enticing value proposition for its sales.

The Historical Evolution of EV/S Ratios: A Global Perspective


In 2018, European corporate entities were basking an average EV/S ratio hovering around 1.5x. This metric implied that investors were more than willing to invest 1.5 times a company’s annual turnover to acquire ownership. This ratio, however, wasn’t set in stone and witnessed considerable fluctuation across industries. Notably, sectors like healthcare and technology were the darlings of investors, consistently commanding more premium ratios.


Transporting our analysis to the peak of the dot-com frenzy 2000, US tech entities were riding high, with their EV/S ratios touching the sky at 10x. This inflated metric showcased investors’ heightened appetite to splurge, hoping for exponential revenue growth. Regrettably, this exuberance was short-lived, leading to a drastic market correction and a savage elimination of overpriced entities.


Fast-forwarding to 2021, Asian corporate houses generally trailed behind their Western peers, often clocking in EV/S ratios under the 1x mark. Such a differential could be an indicator, potentially spotlighting more lucrative investment prospects in Asia instead of the West.

The Double-Edged Sword of the EV/S Ratio

The allure of the EV/S ratio stems from its comprehensive approach, encapsulating crucial components like debt obligations and cash reserves, elements frequently sidelined by conventional metrics such as the price-to-earnings ratio (P/E). But every silver lining has a cloud. The EV/S ratio, while robust, demands vigilant consideration of profitability parameters. It must also improve when applied to companies with fluctuating revenue patterns, especially fledgling startups.

Final Thoughts: Balancing Act in Valuation

In the grand tapestry of financial valuation, the EV/S ratio remains an indispensable thread with its merits and limitations. Think of it as a singular jigsaw piece — while it provides a partial view on its own, it’s only when synchronized with other financial indicators that the complete picture emerges. With a deep understanding of the EV/S ratio and its nuances, Savvy investors are better poised to navigate the investment terrain, potentially reaping richer rewards and bolstered returns.




Scroll to top