Even the best stock pickers will make plenty of bad investments. Anyone who held Invacare Corporation (NYSE:IVC) over the last year knows what a loser feels like. The share price has slid 68% in that time. To make matters worse, the returns over three years have also been really disappointing (the share price is 60% lower than three years ago). Furthermore, it's down 18% 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.
Given that Invacare 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. 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.
Invacare's revenue didn't grow at all in the last year. In fact, it fell 3.7%. That looks pretty grim, at a glance. In the absence of profits, it's not unreasonable that the share price fell 68%. Having said that, if growth is coming in the future, the stock may have better days ahead. We don't generally like to own companies with falling revenues and no profits, so we're pretty cautious of this one, at the moment.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
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 Invacare stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 0.9% in the last year, Invacare shareholders lost 68% (even including dividends). 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. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 19% 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. 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.
Invacare 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 US exchanges.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.