Why Is There Bullish Sentiment on Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT)?

Sarepta Therapeutics's price surge today seems to be confirming the bullish analyst outlook on the stock. Ending the day at $148.67, SRPT has posted 21.73% gains, pushing the valuation of the stock even higher. Might the stock be overvalued, despite its buy rating?

The most common valuation metric for stocks is the trailing price to earnings (P/E) ratio. Sarepta Therapeutics has a P/E ratio of -18.84 based on its 12 month trailing earnings per share of $-7.89. Considering its future earnings estimates of $2.76 per share, the stock's forward P/E ratio is 53.87. In comparison, the average P/E ratio of the Basic Materials sector is 10.03 and the average P/E ratio of the S&P 500 is 15.97.

Sarepta Therapeutics's P/E ratio tells us how much investors are willing to pay for each dollar of the company's earnings. The problem with this metric is that it doesn't take into account the expected growth in earnings of the stock. Sometimes elevated P/E ratios can be justified by equally elevated growth expectations.

We can solve this inconsistency by dividing the company's trailing P/E ratio by its five year earnings growth estimate, which in this case gives us a 159.25 Price to Earnings Growth (PEG) ratio. Since the PEG ratio is greater than 1, the company's lofty valuation is not justified by its growth levels.

We can also compare the ratio of Sarepta Therapeutics's market price to its book value, which gives us the price to book, or P/B ratio. A company's book value refers to its present liquidation value -- or what would be left if the company sold off all its assets and paid off all of its debts today. Importantly, the book value does not include intangible assets such as the value of its brand and the goodwill of its customers. SRPT has a P/B ratio of 25.74, with any figure close to or below one indicating a potentially undervalued company.

Now we turn to the actual cash that Sarepta Therapeutics has on hand after all of its inflows and outflows of capital have been accounted for -- including non business related items such as the cost of maintaining its debt. This final bottom line is called levered free cash flow, and for Sarepta Therapeutics it stands at -$. This negative cash flow could mean the company may not be able to sustain its 0.0% dividend for much longer.

With most indicators pointing at a higher than average valuation with uncertain growth prospects, most analysts are either wrong about Sarepta Therapeutics, or their research has uncovered one or more qualitative reasons to invest in the stock. For example, the strength of the management team and their plan for executing the business strategy may have convinced some analysts to give less weight to traditional quantitative factors.

The above analysis is intended for educational purposes only and was performed on the basis of publicly available data. It is not to be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Any buy, sell, or other recommendations mentioned in the article are direct quotations of consensus recommendations from the analysts covering the stock, and do not represent the opinions of Market Inference or its writers. Past performance, accounting data, and inferences about market position and corporate valuation are not reliable indicators of future price movements. Market Inference does not provide financial advice. Investors should conduct their own review and analysis of any company of interest before making an investment decision.