U.S. Markets open in 2 hrs 58 mins

Investors Who Bought Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust (NASDAQ:WHLR) Shares Five Years Ago Are Now Down 95%

Simply Wall St

Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. (NASDAQ:WHLR) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 20% in the last month. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last half decade have been stomach churning. Five years have seen the share price descend precipitously, down a full 95%. It's true that the recent bounce could signal the company is turning over a new leaf, but we are not so sure. The million dollar question is whether the company can justify a long term recovery.

We really feel for shareholders in this scenario. It's a good reminder of the importance of diversification, and it's worth keeping in mind there's more to life than money, anyway.

See our latest analysis for Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust

Because Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust is loss-making, we think the market is probably more focussed on revenue and revenue growth, at least for now. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. 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 half decade, Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust saw its revenue increase by 30% per year. That's well above most other pre-profit companies. So on the face of it we're really surprised to see the share price has averaged a fall of 45% each year, in the same time period. You'd have to assume the market is worried that profits won't come soon enough. We'd recommend carefully checking for indications of future growth - and balance sheet threats - before considering a purchase.

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

NasdaqCM:WHLR Income Statement, October 15th 2019

You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

Investors should note that there's a difference between Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust's TSR of was a loss of 93% for the 5 years. That wasn't as bad as its share price return, because it has paid dividends.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 8.3% in the last year, Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust shareholders lost 56%. 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 41% 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 businesses. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

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 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.