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If You Had Bought FIH Mobile (HKG:2038) Stock Five Years Ago, You'd Be Sitting On A 80% Loss, Today

Simply Wall St

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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 FIH Mobile Limited (HKG:2038) for half a decade as the share price tanked 80%. And we doubt long term believers are the only worried holders, since the stock price has declined 45% over the last twelve months.

See our latest analysis for FIH Mobile

Given that FIH Mobile didn't make a profit in the last twelve months, we'll focus on revenue growth to form a quick view of its business development. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good 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, FIH Mobile grew its revenue at 22% per year. That's well above most other pre-profit companies. So it's not at all clear to us why the share price sunk 27% throughout that time. It could be that the stock was over-hyped before. While there might be an opportunity here, you'd want to take a close look at the balance sheet strength.

Depicted in the graphic below, you'll see revenue and earnings over time. If you want more detail, you can click on the chart itself.

SEHK:2038 Income Statement, April 4th 2019

You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.

A Dividend Lost

The share price return figures discussed above don't include the value of dividends paid previously, but the total shareholder return (TSR) does. By accounting for the value of dividends paid, the TSR can be seen as a more complete measure of the value a company brings to its shareholders. Over the last 5 years, FIH Mobile generated a TSR of -76%, which is, of course, better than the share price return. Even though the company isn't paying dividends at the moment, it has done in the past.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 0.05% in the twelve months, FIH Mobile shareholders did even worse, losing 45%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 25% over the last half decade. 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. Before spending more time on FIH Mobile it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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.