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Did You Manage To Avoid Avanos Medical's (NYSE:AVNS) 43% Share Price Drop?

Simply Wall St

It's easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. Active investors aim to buy stocks that vastly outperform the market - but in the process, they risk under-performance. That downside risk was realized by Avanos Medical, Inc. (NYSE:AVNS) shareholders over the last year, as the share price declined 43%. That contrasts poorly with the market return of 1.7%. Longer term investors have fared much better, since the share price is up 5.9% in three years. Furthermore, it's down 17% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders.

See our latest analysis for Avanos Medical

Given that Avanos Medical didn't make a profit in the last twelve months, we'll focus on revenue growth to form a quick view of its business development. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. That's because it's hard to be confident a company will be sustainable if revenue growth is negligible, and it never makes a profit.

Avanos Medical grew its revenue by 5.9% over the last year. While that may seem decent it isn't great considering the company is still making a loss. Given this fairly low revenue growth (and lack of profits), it's not particularly surprising to see the stock down 43% in a year. It's important not to lose sight of the fact that profitless companies must grow. So remember, if you buy a profitless company then you risk being a profitless investor.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

NYSE:AVNS Income Statement, October 4th 2019

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. You can see what analysts are predicting for Avanos Medical in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.

A Different Perspective

The last twelve months weren't great for Avanos Medical shares, which cost holders 43%, while the market was up about 1.7%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Fortunately the longer term story is brighter, with total returns averaging about 1.9% per year over three years. The recent sell-off could be an opportunity if the business remains sound, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long-term growth trend. 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.

Avanos Medical is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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.