Low-cost index funds make it easy to achieve average market returns. But across the board there are plenty of stocks that underperform the market. That's what has happened with the MBIA Inc. (NYSE:MBI) share price. It's up 13% over three years, but that is below the market return. Disappointingly, the share price is down 1.4% in the last year.
Because MBIA is loss-making, we think the market is probably more focussed on revenue and revenue growth, at least for now. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.
In the last 3 years MBIA saw its revenue shrink by 28% per year. The modest share price gain of 4.1% per year suggests holders are sanguine about the falling revenue. As a general rule we don't like it when a loss-making company isn't even growing revenue.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
Balance sheet strength is crucial. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.
A Different Perspective
Investors in MBIA had a tough year, with a total loss of 1.4%, against a market gain of about 5.5%. 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 0.6% 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. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
But note: MBIA may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
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 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.