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Introducing Community Health Systems (NYSE:CYH), The Stock That Tanked 92%

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. Anyone who held Community Health Systems, Inc. (NYSE:CYH) for five years would be nursing their metaphorical wounds since the share price dropped 92% in that time. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 27%. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 16% in the last 90 days. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.

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

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View our latest analysis for Community Health Systems

Community Health Systems isn't a profitable company, so it is unlikely we'll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.

Over half a decade Community Health Systems reduced its trailing twelve month revenue by 4.2% for each year. That's not what investors generally want to see. If a business loses money, you want it to grow, so no surprises that the share price has dropped 39% each year in that time. We're generally averse to companies with declining revenues, but we're not alone in that. That is not really what the successful investors we know aim for.

You can see how revenue and earnings have changed over time in the image below, (click on the chart to see cashflow).

NYSE:CYH Income Statement, May 16th 2019

It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Community Health Systems will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 5.2% in the last year, Community Health Systems shareholders lost 27%. 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 37% doled out over the last five years. We would want clear information suggesting the company will grow, before taking the view that the share price will stabilize. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Community Health Systems by clicking this link.

Community Health Systems is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

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 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. Thank you for reading.