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James River Group Holdings (NASDAQ:JRVR) shareholders have endured a 49% loss from investing in the stock three years ago

·4 min read

For many investors, the main point of stock picking is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But in any portfolio, there are likely to be some stocks that fall short of that benchmark. We regret to report that long term James River Group Holdings, Ltd. (NASDAQ:JRVR) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 53% in three years, versus a market return of about 36%. The more recent news is of little comfort, with the share price down 39% in a year. Even worse, it's down 8.7% in about a month, which isn't fun at all.

So let's have a look and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

See our latest analysis for James River Group Holdings

Given that James River Group Holdings didn't make a profit in the last twelve months, we'll focus on revenue growth to form a quick view of its business development. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.

Over the last three years, James River Group Holdings' revenue dropped 6.2% per year. That's not what investors generally want to see. With revenue in decline, and profit but a dream, we can understand why the share price has been declining at 15% per year. Having said that, if growth is coming in the future, now may be the low ebb for the company. We don't generally like to own companies that lose money and can't grow revenues. But any company is worth looking at when it makes a maiden profit.

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

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

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. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on James River Group Holdings

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of James River Group Holdings, it has a TSR of -49% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 15% in the twelve months, James River Group Holdings shareholders did even worse, losing 37% (even including dividends). However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 6% over the last half decade. 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. 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 James River Group Holdings by clicking this link.

James River Group Holdings 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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