Generally speaking long term investing is the way to go. But no-one is immune from buying too high. For example the Cardno Limited (ASX:CDD) share price dropped 90% over five years. We certainly feel for shareholders who bought near the top. And it's not just long term holders hurting, because the stock is down 48% in the last year. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 15% in the last three months.
While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn't as important as health and happiness.
Because Cardno made a loss in the last twelve months, we think the market is probably more focussed on revenue and revenue growth, at least for now. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.
Over half a decade Cardno reduced its trailing twelve month revenue by 1.5% for each year. That's not what investors generally want to see. The share price fall of 14% (per year, over five years) is a stern reminder that money-losing companies are expected to grow revenue. It takes a certain kind of mental fortitude (or recklessness) to buy shares in a company that loses money and doesn't grow revenue. Fear of becoming a 'bagholder' may be keeping people away from this stock.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
Balance sheet strength is crucial. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between Cardno's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. Its history of dividend payouts mean that Cardno's TSR, which was a 68% drop over the last 5 years, was not as bad as the share price return.
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that Cardno shareholders are down 48% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 2.1%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 11% per year over five years. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should "buy when there is blood on the streets", but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks, for example - Cardno has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU exchanges.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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