How to Value Tech Companies

A technology company or tech company is a type of business entity that focuses primarily on the development and manufacturing of technology products or services.

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This is a guide on how to value technology companies. In this guide, we will cover the following topics:
-What is a technology company?
-What are the different types of technology companies?
-How do you value a technology company?

Technology companies are defined as companies that develop and commercialize new technologies. These companies can be either product or service oriented, and they can be either B2C or B2B. There are four main types of technology companies:
-Hardware companies
-Software companies
-Communications companies
-Internet companies

Valuing a technology company is different from valuing a traditional company because there are different risks and opportunities associated with tech firms. The key drivers of value for tech firms are different, and as such, traditional valuation methodologies need to be adapted. Some of the key considerations when valuing a tech firm include:
-The stage of the company’s product life cycle
-The company’s competitive advantage
-The company’s intellectual property

The Problem with tech stocks

For years, Wall Street has had a love affair with technology stocks. They were the darlings of the dot-com boom in the late 1990s and then again during the social media boom of the past decade. But there is a problem with tech stocks: They are notoriously difficult to value.

They’re Overpriced

The problem with tech stocks is that they’re often overpriced. This is because technology stocks are often associated with high growth potential. As a result, investors are willing to pay more for these stocks, even though they may be Riskier.

This was the case during the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s when many tech stocks soared to unsustainable levels before crashing back down to earth.

While there are certainly some great tech stocks out there, you need to be wary of overpaying for them. One way to value tech companies is to look at their price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios.

For example, let’s say Company A has a P/E ratio of 20 and Company B has a P/E ratio of 10. This means that Company A is trading at a higher price relative to its earnings. In general, you want to buy companies with low P/E ratios since you’re paying less for each dollar of earnings.

Of course, there are other factors to consider when valuing tech companies, but the P/E ratio is a good place to start. Just be sure not to overpay for these high-growth stocks.

They’re Overhyped

It’s no secret that tech stocks have been on a tear over the past few years. The NASDAQ Composite Index, which is heavily weighted towards tech stocks, has more than doubled since 2014. Even after the recent sell-off, it’s still up nearly 50% from its lows in early 2016.

But there’s a problem with tech stocks – they’re overhyped. And when things get overhyped, it usually means that there’s a bubble.

Here are a few reasons why I believe there’s a tech bubble:

1) valuations are sky-high;
2) there’s too much hype; and
3) history suggests that bubbles eventually burst.

1) Valuations are sky-high:One of the most important things to look at when trying to value a stock is its price-to-earnings ratio (P/E ratio). This ratio simply tells you how much you have to pay for $1 of earnings. For example, if a stock has a P/E ratio of 20, it means you have to pay $20 for $1 of earnings.
The average P/E ratio for the S&P 500 Index, which is a broad index of large US stocks, is currently around 24. That’s already considered to be relatively high by historical standards.
But when we look at tech stocks, the numbers are even more staggering. The average P/E ratio for the NASDAQ Composite Index is close to 70! That means you have to pay $70 for $1 of earnings.
To put that into perspective, the dotcom bubble peaked in 2000 with a P/E ratio of around 150. We’re not quite at that level yet, but we’re getting close. And valuations always seem to revert back to the mean over time, so there’s a good chance we could see a sharp correction in tech stock prices at some point in the not-too-distant future.

2) There’s too much hype: Another problem with tech stocks is that there’s too much hype surrounding them. It seems like every day there’s a new story about some hot new startup that’s valued at billions of dollars despite having no revenue or profits.
And it’s not just startups – even big established tech companies are being hyped up way beyond their actual worth. For example, Amazon (AMZN) is often described as being “disruptive” and “revolutionary” despite the fact that it only makes around 3% profit margin on its sales (most companies make around 10%).

3) History suggests that bubbles eventually burst: Finally, history tells us that bubbles eventually burst and markets always revert back to their long-term average levels over time . . . no matter how “different this time” might seem . Sooner or later, valuations will come down to earth and all those overpriced tech stocks will come crashing down. When that happens, it could send shockwaves through global markets and trigger another financial crisis like we saw in 2008

They’re Over-Owned

There is no doubt that technology stocks have been on a tear over the past few years. The problem is that they are now so over-owned by investors that there is very little room for error.

One way to measure this is to look at the percentage of stocks in the S&P 500 that are technology stocks. As of the end of September, tech stocks made up 27% of the index, which is the highest level since March 2000.

Another way to measure it is to look at how much money flows into tech mutual funds and ETFs. In the week ended October 18, $4.1 billion flowed into tech funds, which was the second highest weekly inflows ever according to EPFR Global data.

The problem with this kind of money flow is that it can drive prices higher in the short-term, but it also means that there are more sellers than buyers when things turn south. That’s what we’ve seen in recent days as concerns about valuations and earnings growth have sent tech stocks tumbling.

If you own tech stocks, or are thinking about buying them, you need to be aware of this dynamic and be prepared for more volatility in the days and weeks ahead.

A Better Way to Value Tech Companies

There are many ways to value a tech company. You can use a traditional valuation method, such as the price-to-earnings ratio (P/E ratio), or you can use a more sophisticated method, such as the discounted cash flow (DCF) method. You can also use a combination of both methods.

The PEG Ratio

The PEG ratio is the price/earnings to growth ratio and is a good way to value tech companies. The PEG ratio is simply the price/earnings multiple divided by the earnings growth rate.

A high PEG ratio means that a company’s stock price is high relative to its earnings growth, and vice versa. For example, if a company has a P/E of 30 and is expected to grow earnings by 10% per year, its PEG ratio would be 3.0 (30/10).

The ideal PEG ratio varies depending on who you ask, but a general rule of thumb is that a company with a PEG ratio below 1.0 is undervalued, while a company with a PEG ratio above 2.0 is overvalued.

Of course, the PEG ratio is just one tool in an investor’s toolkit, and it should be used alongside other valuation methods such as the discounted cash flow (DCF) model.


EV/Sales is a key metric used to value tech companies. It stands for Enterprise Value to Sales, and it’s a measure of how much a company is worth relative to its revenue.

To calculate EV/Sales, you first need to calculate a company’s enterprise value. Enterprise value is the sum of a company’s market capitalization, debt, and cash. For example, let’s say that Company X has a market capitalization of $1 billion, $500 million in debt, and $200 million in cash. Its enterprise value would be $1.7 billion.

Once you have a company’s enterprise value, you can divide it by its sales to get EV/Sales. For example, if Company X had sales of $500 million last year, its EV/Sales ratio would be 3.4 ($1.7 billion divided by $500 million).

EV/Sales is a useful metric because it helps you compare companies that are in different stages of their lifecycle. A young company that is not yet profitable will have a higher EV/Sales ratio than an older company that is profitable because the younger company will have a higher enterprise value relative to its sales.

The EV/Sales ratio also adjusts for differences in accounting methods between companies. For example, two companies might report different levels of profits because one uses accrual accounting and the other uses cash accounting. However, their EV/Sales ratios would be the same if their revenue was the same.

The EV/Sales ratio is not perfect, but it’s a helpful tool for valuing tech companies.

Price to Free Cash Flow

One of the best ways to value tech companies is by looking at their price to free cash flow. This metric allows you to see how much cash a company is generating relative to its stock price.

For example, let’s say that Company X has a market capitalization of $1 billion and it generated $100 million in free cash flow last year. This would give it a price to free cash flow ratio of 10.

Companies with healthy balance sheets and strong free cash flow generation tend to be undervalued by the market. This is because investors are often more focused on short-term earnings growth than long-term cash flow generation. As a result, you can find some great deals if you know where to look.


The simplest way to think about how to value a tech company is by looking at its price-to-earnings ratio. For example, if a company has a P/E ratio of 20, that means it trades at 20 times its earnings. So, if the company reported earnings per share of $1 last year, then its stock price would be $20.

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