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Imagine Owning Obrascón Huarte Lain (BME:OHL) And Taking A 97% Loss Square On The Chin

Simply Wall St

Long term investing works well, but it doesn't always work for each individual stock. We really hate to see fellow investors lose their hard-earned money. For example, we sympathize with anyone who was caught holding Obrascón Huarte Lain, S.A. (BME:OHL) during the five years that saw its share price drop a whopping 97%. And it's not just long term holders hurting, because the stock is down 49% in the last year. Furthermore, it's down 45% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders. However, one could argue that the price has been influenced by the general market, which is down 28% in the same timeframe.

While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn't as important as health and happiness.

See our latest analysis for Obrascón Huarte Lain

Given that Obrascón Huarte Lain 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. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.

In the last five years Obrascón Huarte Lain saw its revenue shrink by 9.2% per year. That puts it in an unattractive cohort, to put it mildly. So it's not that strange that the share price dropped 51% per year in that period. This kind of price performance makes us very wary, especially when combined with falling revenue. Of course, the poor performance could mean the market has been too severe selling down. That can happen.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

BME:OHL Income Statement March 28th 2020

This free interactive report on Obrascón Huarte Lain's balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Obrascón Huarte Lain's TSR for the last 5 years was -94%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 22% in the twelve months, Obrascón Huarte Lain shareholders did even worse, losing 49% (even including dividends) . Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 44% per year over five years. We realise that Baron Rothschild 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 business. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Obrascón Huarte Lain better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Obrascón Huarte Lain (including 1 which is can't be ignored) .

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 ES exchanges.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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.

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. Thank you for reading.