Long term investing works well, but it doesn't always work for each individual stock. We don't wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. Spare a thought for those who held ServiceSource International, Inc. (NASDAQ:SREV) for five whole years - as the share price tanked 81%. And it's not just long term holders hurting, because the stock is down 39% in the last year. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 18% in the last three months. But this could be related to the weak market, which is down 9.6% in the same period. While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn't as important as health and happiness.
With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.
Because ServiceSource International made a loss in the last twelve months, we think the market is probably more focussed on revenue and revenue growth, at least for now. 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.
Over half a decade ServiceSource International reduced its trailing twelve month revenue by 6.2% for each year. That's not what investors generally want to see. If a business loses money, you want it to grow, so no surprises that the share price has dropped 13% each year in that time. It takes a certain kind of mental fortitude (or recklessness) to buy shares in a company that loses money and doesn't grow revenue. Fear of becoming a 'bagholder' may be keeping people away from this stock.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
A Different Perspective
ServiceSource International shareholders are down 39% for the year, but the market itself is up 5.7%. 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, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 13% over the last half decade. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should "buy when there is blood on the streets", but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. 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. To that end, you should be aware of the 2 warning signs we've spotted with ServiceSource International .
But note: ServiceSource International 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.
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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.