As an investor, mistakes are inevitable. But really bad investments should be rare. So take a moment to sympathize with the long term shareholders of Zhejiang Shibao Company Limited (HKG:1057), who have seen the share price tank a massive 74% over a three year period. That might cause some serious doubts about the merits of the initial decision to buy the stock, to put it mildly. And more recent buyers are having a tough time too, with a drop of 23% in the last year. It's up 2.3% in the last seven days.
Because Zhejiang Shibao 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 three years Zhejiang Shibao saw its revenue shrink by 2.5% per year. That is not a good result. Having said that the 36% annualized share price decline highlights the risk of investing in unprofitable companies. This business clearly needs to grow revenues if it is to perform as investors hope. Don't let a share price decline ruin your calm. You make better decisions when you're calm.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
A Different Perspective
Investors in Zhejiang Shibao had a tough year, with a total loss of 23%, against a market gain of about 2.0%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 21% per year over five years. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. Shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
We will like Zhejiang Shibao better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on HK exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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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