Price/cash flow ratio
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
The price/cash flow ratio (also called price-to-cash flow ratio or P/CF), is a ratio used to compare a company's market value to its cash flow. It is calculated by dividing the company's market cap by the company's operating cash flow in the most recent fiscal year (or the most recent four fiscal quarters); or, equivalently, divide the per-share stock price by the per-share operating cash flow. In theory, the lower a stock's price/cash flow ratio is, the better value that stock is.
For example, if the stock price for two companies is $25 per share and one company has a cash flow of $5 per share (25/5=5) and the other company has a cash flow of $10 per share (25/10=2.5), then if all else is equal, the company with the higher cash flow (lower ratio, P/CF=2.5) has the better value.
"A high P/CF ratio indicated that the specific firm is trading at a high price but is not generating enough cash flows to support the multiple - sometimes this is OK, depending on the firm, industry, and its specific operations. Smaller price ratios are generally preferred, as they may reveal a firm generating ample cash flows that are not yet properly considered in the current share price. Holding all factors constant, from an investment perspective, a smaller P/CF is preferred over a larger multiple."
CFPS = (NI + Depreciation + Amortization)/ Common Shares Outstanding