Investing in stocks comes with the risk that the share price will fall. And there's no doubt that Ballantyne Strong, Inc (NYSEMKT:BTN) stock has had a really bad year. The share price is down a hefty 57% in that time. To make matters worse, the returns over three years have also been really disappointing (the share price is 56% lower than three years ago). The silver lining is that the stock is up 2.5% in about a week.
Ballantyne Strong 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. That's because it's hard to be confident a company will be sustainable if revenue growth is negligible, and it never makes a profit.
Ballantyne Strong's revenue didn't grow at all in the last year. In fact, it fell 11%. That's not what investors generally want to see. The share price drop of 57% is understandable given the company doesn't have profits to boast of. Having said that, if growth is coming in the future, the stock may have better days ahead. We have a natural aversion to companies that are losing money and shrinking revenue. But perhaps that is being too careful.
The graphic below shows how revenue and earnings have changed as management guided the business forward. If you want to see cashflow, you can click on the chart.
Balance sheet strength is crucual. 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 Ballantyne Strong had a tough year, with a total loss of 57%, against a market gain of about 12%. 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 15% 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. Before spending more time on Ballantyne Strong it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.
If you are like me, then you will 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.
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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.