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If You Had Bought Astec Industries (NASDAQ:ASTE) Stock Three Years Ago, You'd Be Sitting On A 52% Loss, Today

Simply Wall St

The truth is that if you invest for long enough, you're going to end up with some losing stocks. But long term Astec Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTE) shareholders have had a particularly rough ride in the last three year. Unfortunately, they have held through a 52% decline in the share price in that time. And more recent buyers are having a tough time too, with a drop of 43% in the last year. Even worse, it's down 16% in about a month, which isn't fun at all. Importantly, this could be a market reaction to the recently released financial results. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.

Check out our latest analysis for Astec Industries

Because Astec Industries is loss-making, we think the market is probably more focussed on revenue and revenue growth, at least for now. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.

Over three years, Astec Industries grew revenue at 3.6% per year. That's not a very high growth rate considering it doesn't make profits. It's likely this weak growth has contributed to an annualised return of 22% 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 graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

NasdaqGS:ASTE Income Statement, August 30th 2019

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Astec Industries

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between Astec Industries's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. Dividends have been really beneficial for Astec Industries shareholders, and that cash payout explains why its total shareholder loss of 51%, over the last 3 years, isn't as bad as the share price return.

A Different Perspective

Investors in Astec Industries had a tough year, with a total loss of 42% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 0.8%. 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 6.7% per year over five years. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares - and the price they paid.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do 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.