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Statistically speaking, long term investing is a profitable endeavour. But that doesn't mean long term investors can avoid big losses. For example, after five long years the Polar Power, Inc. (NASDAQ:POLA) share price is a whole 53% lower. That's an unpleasant experience for long term holders. Even worse, it's down 33% in about a month, which isn't fun at all.
It's worthwhile assessing if the company's economics have been moving in lockstep with these underwhelming shareholder returns, or if there is some disparity between the two. So let's do just that.
Polar Power wasn't profitable in the last twelve months, it is unlikely we'll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.
In the last five years Polar Power saw its revenue shrink by 9.1% per year. That's definitely a weaker result than most pre-profit companies report. It seems appropriate, then, that the share price slid about 9% annually during that time. We don't generally like to own companies that lose money and don't grow revenues. You might be better off spending your money on a leisure activity. You'd want to research this company pretty thoroughly before buying, it looks a bit too risky for us.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized 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. You can see what analysts are predicting for Polar Power in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.
A Different Perspective
Polar Power provided a TSR of 8.8% over the last twelve months. But that was short of the market average. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it is certainly better than the yearly loss of about 9% endured over half a decade. It could well be that the business is stabilizing. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Polar Power better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - Polar Power has 6 warning signs (and 2 which shouldn't be ignored) we think you should know about.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will 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.
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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.