The main aim of stock picking is to find the market-beating stocks. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in Matrix Composites & Engineering Ltd (ASX:MCE), since the last five years saw the share price fall 48%. It's up 1.4% in the last seven days.
Matrix Composites & Engineering isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. 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 five years Matrix Composites & Engineering saw its revenue shrink by 44% per year. That's definitely a weaker result than most pre-profit companies report. It seems pretty reasonable to us that the share price dipped 12% per year in that time. We doubt many shareholders are delighted with this share price performance. It is possible for businesses to bounce back but as Buffett says, 'turnarounds seldom turn'.
The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
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.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between Matrix Composites & Engineering's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Matrix Composites & Engineering's TSR of was a loss of 45% for the 5 years. That wasn't as bad as its share price return, because it has paid dividends.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Matrix Composites & Engineering had a tough year, with a total loss of 6.5%, against a market gain of about 23%. 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. Unfortunately, longer term shareholders are suffering worse, given the loss of 11% doled out over the last five years. We'd need to see some sustained improvements in the key metrics before we could muster much enthusiasm. If you would like to research Matrix Composites & Engineering in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU exchanges.
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.
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