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NOV (NYSE:NOV) investors are sitting on a loss of 43% if they invested five years ago

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For many, the main point of investing is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. So we wouldn't blame long term NOV Inc. (NYSE:NOV) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 45% over a half decade.

Now let's have a look at the company's fundamentals, and see if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

View our latest analysis for NOV

NOV isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.

In the last five years NOV saw its revenue shrink by 5.4% per year. While far from catastrophic that is not good. The share price decline at a rate of 8% per year is disappointing. But it doesn't surprise given the falling revenue. Without profits, its hard to see how shareholders win if the revenue keeps falling.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

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

NOV is a well known stock, with plenty of analyst coverage, suggesting some visibility into future growth. Given we have quite a good number of analyst forecasts, it might be well worth checking out this free chart depicting consensus estimates.

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that NOV has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 21% in the last twelve months. Of course, that includes the dividend. Notably the five-year annualised TSR loss of 7% per year compares very unfavourably with the recent share price performance. This makes us a little wary, but the business might have turned around its fortunes. Before spending more time on NOV it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.

If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.

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.