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Easy Come, Easy Go: How Spectra7 Microsystems (TSE:SEV) Shareholders Torched 98% Of Their Cash

Simply Wall St

Some stocks are best avoided. We don't wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. For example, we sympathize with anyone who was caught holding Spectra7 Microsystems Inc. (TSE:SEV) during the five years that saw its share price drop a whopping 98%. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 88%. Furthermore, it's down 63% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.

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.

Check out our latest analysis for Spectra7 Microsystems

Spectra7 Microsystems isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.

Over five years, Spectra7 Microsystems grew its revenue at 2.8% per year. That's far from impressive given all the money it is losing. It's not so sure that share price crash of 55% per year is completely deserved, but the market is doubtless disappointed. We'd be pretty cautious about this one, although the sell-off may be too severe. We'd recommend focussing any further research on the likelihood of profitability in the foreseeable future, given the muted revenue growth.

You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

TSX:SEV Income Statement, November 27th 2019

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. If you are thinking of buying or selling Spectra7 Microsystems stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

A Different Perspective

Investors in Spectra7 Microsystems had a tough year, with a total loss of 88%, against a market gain of about 12%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 55% 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.

Spectra7 Microsystems 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 CA exchanges.

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.

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.