The art and science of stock market investing requires a tolerance for losing money on some of the shares you buy. But it would be foolish to simply accept every extremely large loss as an inevitable part of the game. So spare a thought for the long term shareholders of Weidai Ltd. (NYSE:WEI); the share price is down a whopping 83% in the last twelve months. That'd be enough to make even the strongest stomachs churn. Because Weidai hasn't been listed for many years, the market is still learning about how the business performs. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 24% in the last three months. This could be related to the recent financial results - you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report.
We really hope anyone holding through that price crash has a diversified portfolio. Even when you lose money, you don't have to lose the lesson.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
During the last year Weidai saw its earnings per share drop below zero. While this may prove temporary, we'd consider it a negative, so it doesn't surprise us that the stock price is down. We hope for shareholders' sake that the company becomes profitable again soon.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.
A Different Perspective
While Weidai shareholders are down 83% for the year, the market itself is up 17%. While the aim is to do better than that, it's worth recalling that even great long-term investments sometimes underperform for a year or more. With the stock down 24% over the last three months, the market doesn't seem to believe that the company has solved all its problems. Basically, most investors should be wary of buying into a poor-performing stock, unless the business itself has clearly improved. 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. Even so, be aware that Weidai is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those can't be ignored...
But note: Weidai may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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. 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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