Fintech Select Ltd. (CVE:FTEC) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 25% in the last month. But spare a thought for the long term holders, who have held the stock as it bled value over the last five years. Indeed, the share price is down a whopping 75% in that time. It's true that the recent bounce could signal the company is turning over a new leaf, but we are not so sure. The important question is if the business itself justifies a higher share price in the long term.
Fintech Select isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. 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.
In the last five years Fintech Select saw its revenue shrink by 44% per year. That's definitely a weaker result than most pre-profit companies report. So it's not that strange that the share price dropped 24% per year in that period. We don't think this is a particularly promising picture. Ironically, that behavior could create an opportunity for the contrarian investor - but only if there are good reasons to predict a brighter future.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 14% in the last year, Fintech Select shareholders lost 44%. 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, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 24% over the last half decade. We realise that Buffett 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. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Case in point: We've spotted 4 warning signs for Fintech Select you should be aware of, and 1 of them shouldn't be ignored.
Of course Fintech Select may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA exchanges.
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