Every investor on earth makes bad calls sometimes. But you want to avoid the really big losses like the plague. So spare a thought for the long term shareholders of Starcore International Mines Ltd. (TSE:SAM); the share price is down a whopping 86% in the last three years. That would be a disturbing experience. And more recent buyers are having a tough time too, with a drop of 27% in the last year. It's down 5.9% in the last seven days.
We really hope anyone holding through that price crash has a diversified portfolio. Even when you lose money, you don't have to lose the lesson.
Starcore International Mines isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.
In the last three years, Starcore International Mines saw its revenue grow by 4.5% per year, compound. Given it's losing money in pursuit of growth, we are not really impressed with that. Nonetheless, it's fair to say the rapidly declining share price (down 48%, compound, over three years) suggests the market is very disappointed with this level of growth. While we're definitely wary of the stock, after that kind of performance, it could be an over-reaction. Of course, revenue growth is nice but generally speaking the lower the profits, the riskier the business - and this business isn't making steady profits.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
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.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Starcore International Mines had a tough year, with a total loss of 27%, against a market gain of about 14%. 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. Unfortunately, longer term shareholders are suffering worse, given the loss of 30% doled out over the last five years. We'd need to see some sustained improvements in the key metrics before we could muster much enthusiasm. 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. For instance, we've identified 4 warning signs for Starcore International Mines (3 make us uncomfortable) that you should be aware of.
We will like Starcore International Mines better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA exchanges.
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