Today shares of SilverSun Technologies have fallen -7.6%, to a price of $8.86. Since it has an average rating of buy, many investors will be using today as an opportunity to buy the dip. But what if the stock is overvalued? Don't blindly trust analyst ratings before looking at the fundamentals yourself!
The first step in determining whether a stock is overvalued is to check its price to book (P/B) ratio. This is perhaps the most basic measure of a company's valuation, which is its market value divided by its book value. Book value refers to the sum of all of the company's assets minus its liabilities -- you can also think of it as the company's equity value.
Traditionally, value investors would look for companies with a ratio of less than 1 (meaning that the market value was smaller than the company's book value), but such opportunities are very rare these days. So we tend to look for company's whose valuations are less than their sector and market average. The P/B ratio for SilverSun Technologies is 6.6, compared to its sector average of 7.92 and the S&P 500's average P/B of 2.95.
Modernly, the most common metric for valuing a company is its Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio. It's simply today's stock price of 8.86 divided by either its trailing or forward earnings, which for SilverSun Technologies are $-0.28 and $0.29 respectively. Based on these values, the company's trailing P/E ratio is -31.6 and its forward P/E ratio is 30.6. By way of comparison, the average P/E ratio of the Technology sector is 35.0 and the average P/E ratio of the S&P 500 is 15.97.
Indebted or mismanaged companies can't sustain shareholder value for long, even if they have strong earnings. For this reason, considering SilverSun Technologies's ability to meet its debt obligations is also an important aspect of pinning down its valuation. By adding up its current assets, then subtracting its inventory and prepaid expenses, and then dividing the whole by its current liabilities, we obtain the company's Quick Ratio of 0.94. Since SSNT's is lower than 1, it does not have the liquidity necessary to meet its current liabilities.
When we had up all the inflows and outflows of cash, including payments to creditors, we obtain SilverSun Technologies's levered free cash flow of $1.65 Million. This represents the money left over from the company's operations that is available for reinvestment in the business, or for paying out to equity investors in the form of a dividend. Despite its positive cash flows, SilverSun Technologies does not currently pay a dividend.
Shares of SilverSun Technologies appear to be overvalued at today's prices — despite the positive outlook from analysts. But sometimes stocks with inflated valuations turn out to be strong performances for years, and even decades, such as Amazon. So be sure to do your own due diligence if you are interested in taking a long position in SSNT.