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Investing in stocks inevitably means buying into some companies that perform poorly. But the last three years have been particularly tough on longer term EZCORP, Inc. (NASDAQ:EZPW) shareholders. Unfortunately, they have held through a 51% decline in the share price in that time. It's down 2.6% in the last seven days.
EZCORP 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. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.
Over three years, EZCORP grew revenue at 0.03% per year. Given it's losing money in pursuit of growth, we are not really impressed with that. It's likely this weak growth has contributed to an annualised return of 15% for the last three years. When a stock falls hard like this, some investors like to add the company to a watchlist (in case the business recovers, longer term). Keep in mind it isn't unusual for good businesses to have a tough time or a couple of uninspiring years.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
A Different Perspective
Investors in EZCORP had a tough year, with a total loss of 5.1%, against a market gain of about 37%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, longer term shareholders are suffering worse, given the loss of 7% doled out over the last five years. We'd need to see some sustained improvements in the key metrics before we could muster much enthusiasm. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand EZCORP better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should be aware of the 1 warning sign we've spotted with EZCORP .
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.
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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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