While it may not be enough for some shareholders, we think it is good to see the Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CCO) share price up 13% in a single quarter. But over the last half decade, the stock has not performed well. In fact, the share price is down 65%, which falls well short of the return you could get by buying an index fund.
Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings isn't a profitable company, so it is unlikely we'll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.
In the last five years Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings saw its revenue shrink by 2.1% per year. While far from catastrophic that is not good. With neither profit nor revenue growth, the loss of 19% per year doesn't really surprise us. We don't think anyone is rushing to buy this stock. Not that many investors like to invest in companies that are losing money and not growing revenue.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
Investors should note that there's a difference between Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. 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. Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings's TSR of was a loss of 33% for the 5 years. That wasn't as bad as its share price return, because it has paid dividends.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings had a tough year, with a total loss of 53%, against a market gain of about 13%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 7.8% per year over five years. We realise that Buffett 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 businesses. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are 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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