It's nice to see the Senetas Corporation Limited (ASX:SEN) share price up 13% in a week. But that can't change the reality that over the longer term (five years), the returns have been really quite dismal. Indeed, the share price is down 66% in the period. So we're hesitant to put much weight behind the short term increase. But it could be that the fall was overdone.
Senetas isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. 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.
Over five years, Senetas grew its revenue at 5.5% per year. That's far from impressive given all the money it is losing. It's likely this weak growth has contributed to an annualised return of 11% for the last five years. We want to see an acceleration of revenue growth (or profits) before showing much interest in this one. However, it's possible too many in the market will ignore it, and there may be an opportunity if it starts to recover down the track.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 3.7% in the last year, Senetas shareholders lost 13%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Unfortunately, longer term shareholders are suffering worse, given the loss of 10% doled out over the last five years. We'd need to see some sustained improvements in the key metrics before we could muster much enthusiasm. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Senetas you should be aware of, and 1 of them is significant.
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Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU 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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