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Statistically speaking, long term investing is a profitable endeavour. But that doesn't mean long term investors can avoid big losses. Zooming in on an example, the Reliv' International, Inc. (NASDAQ:RELV) share price dropped 60% in the last half decade. That is extremely sub-optimal, to say the least. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 19% in the last three months. However, one could argue that the price has been influenced by the general market, which is down 12% in the same timeframe.
Reliv' International wasn't profitable in the last twelve months, 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. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.
In the last five years Reliv' International saw its revenue shrink by 11% per year. That's definitely a weaker result than most pre-profit companies report. It seems appropriate, then, that the share price slid about 17% annually during that time. We don't generally like to own companies that lose money and don't grow revenues. You might be better off spending your money on a leisure activity. You'd want to research this company pretty thoroughly before buying, it looks a bit too risky for us.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. This free interactive report on Reliv' International's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that Reliv' International shareholders are down 17% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 1.1%. 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 17% 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. For example, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Reliv' International (2 are significant!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
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 US exchanges.
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.
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. Thank you for reading.