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Investors Who Bought Element Solutions (NYSE:ESI) Shares Five Years Ago Are Now Down 48%

Simply Wall St

While not a mind-blowing move, it is good to see that the Element Solutions Inc (NYSE:ESI) share price has gained 20% in the last three months. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last five years have been less than pleasing. In fact, the share price is down 48%, which falls well short of the return you could get by buying an index fund.

View our latest analysis for Element Solutions

Element Solutions wasn't profitable in the last twelve months, 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. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.

In the last half decade, Element Solutions saw its revenue increase by 3.7% per year. That's far from impressive given all the money it is losing. Given the weak growth, the share price fall of 12% isn't particularly surprising. The key question is whether the company can make it to profitability, and beyond, without trouble. It could be worth putting it on your watchlist and revisiting when it makes its maiden profit.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

NYSE:ESI Income Statement, December 31st 2019

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

A Different Perspective

Element Solutions shareholders gained a total return of 11% during the year. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it is certainly better than the yearly loss of about 12% endured over half a decade. So this might be a sign the business has turned its fortunes around. 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 Element Solutions by clicking this link.

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.

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.

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