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In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it's worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But the main game is to find enough winners to more than offset the losers At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in Medallion Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:MFIN), since the last five years saw the share price fall 49%. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 10% in the last three months.
Medallion Financial 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. 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, Medallion Financial grew its revenue at 28% per year. That's well above most other pre-profit companies. Shareholders are no doubt disappointed with the loss of 13%, each year, in that time. So you might argue the Medallion Financial should get more credit for its rather impressive revenue growth over the period. So now is probably an apt time to look closer at the stock, if you think it has potential.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Medallion Financial
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
Investors should note that there's a difference between Medallion Financial's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. Dividends have been really beneficial for Medallion Financial shareholders, and that cash payout explains why its total shareholder loss of 37%, over the last 5 years, isn't as bad as the share price return.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Medallion Financial had a tough year, with a total loss of 17%, against a market gain of about 6.6%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 8.9% 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. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.
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 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.