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Easy Come, Easy Go: How Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) Shareholders Got Unlucky And Saw 82% Of Their Cash Evaporate

Simply Wall St

Long term investing works well, but it doesn't always work for each individual stock. It hits us in the gut when we see fellow investors suffer a loss. For example, we sympathize with anyone who was caught holding Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) during the five years that saw its share price drop a whopping 82%. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 17% in the last 90 days. 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 feel for shareholders in this scenario. It's a good reminder of the importance of diversification, and it's worth keeping in mind there's more to life than money, anyway.

View our latest analysis for Stratasys

Stratasys 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. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.

Over half a decade Stratasys reduced its trailing twelve month revenue by 2.8% for each year. That's not what investors generally want to see. If a business loses money, you want it to grow, so no surprises that the share price has dropped 29% each year in that time. It takes a certain kind of mental fortitude (or recklessness) to buy shares in a company that loses money and doesn't grow revenue. Fear of becoming a 'bagholder' may be keeping people away from this stock.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

NasdaqGS:SSYS Income Statement, November 19th 2019

It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Stratasys will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).

A Different Perspective

Stratasys shareholders are down 12% for the year, but the market itself is up 18%. 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 29% doled out over the last five years. We would want clear information suggesting the company will grow, before taking the view that the share price will stabilize. Shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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.