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Easy Come, Easy Go: How CIL Holdings (HKG:479) Shareholders Got Unlucky And Saw 72% Of Their Cash Evaporate

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We're definitely into long term investing, but some companies are simply bad investments over any time frame. It hits us in the gut when we see fellow investors suffer a loss. Imagine if you held CIL Holdings Limited (HKG:479) for half a decade as the share price tanked 72%. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 65%. Furthermore, it's down 30% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders.

View our latest analysis for CIL Holdings

CIL Holdings isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. 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 CIL Holdings saw its revenue shrink by 37% per year. That's definitely a weaker result than most pre-profit companies report. So it's not that strange that the share price dropped 22% per year in that period. We don't think this is a particularly promising picture. Of course, the poor performance could mean the market has been too severe selling down. That can happen.

The graphic below shows how revenue and earnings have changed as management guided the business forward. If you want to see cashflow, you can click on the chart.

SEHK:479 Income Statement, May 1st 2019

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of CIL Holdings's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 5.0% in the twelve months, CIL Holdings shareholders did even worse, losing 65%. 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 22% 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.

CIL Holdings 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 HK 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.