These days it's easy to simply buy an index fund, and your returns should (roughly) match the market. But one can do better than that by picking better than average stocks (as part of a diversified portfolio). For example, the CECO Environmental Corp. (NASDAQ:CECE) share price is up 60% in the last year, clearly besting than the market return of around 5.9% (not including dividends). So that should have shareholders smiling. However, the longer term returns haven't been so impressive, with the stock up just 21% in the last three years.
Because CECO Environmental is loss-making, we think the market is probably more focussed on revenue and revenue growth, at least for now. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.
In the last year CECO Environmental saw its revenue shrink by 2.2%. Despite the lack of revenue growth, the stock has returned a solid 60% the last twelve months. To us that means that there isn't a lot of correlation between the past revenue performance and the share price, but a closer look at analyst forecasts and the bottom line may well explain a lot.
You can see how revenue and earnings have changed over time in the image below, (click on the chart to see cashflow).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between CECO Environmental's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. CECO Environmental's TSR of 60% for the year exceeded its share price return, because it has paid dividends.
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that CECO Environmental shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 60% over one year. That certainly beats the loss of about 13% per year over the last half decade. We generally put more weight on the long term performance over the short term, but the recent improvement could hint at a (positive) inflection point within the business. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares - and the price they paid.
CECO Environmental is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.