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Shareholders in Matrix Service (NASDAQ:MTRX) are in the red if they invested three years ago

·3 min read

As every investor would know, not every swing hits the sweet spot. But you have a problem if you face massive losses more than once in a while. So spare a thought for the long term shareholders of Matrix Service Company (NASDAQ:MTRX); the share price is down a whopping 70% in the last three years. That'd be enough to cause even the strongest minds some disquiet. And over the last year the share price fell 51%, so we doubt many shareholders are delighted. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 14% in the last 90 days.

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.

See our latest analysis for Matrix Service

Matrix Service 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. 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.

In the last three years Matrix Service saw its revenue shrink by 32% per year. That's definitely a weaker result than most pre-profit companies report. And as you might expect the share price has been weak too, dropping at a rate of 19% per year. We prefer leave it to clowns to try to catch falling knives, like this stock. It's worth remembering that investors call buying a steeply falling share price 'catching a falling knife' because it is a dangerous pass time.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

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

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Matrix Service will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Matrix Service shareholders are down 51% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 18%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 10% 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. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Matrix Service by clicking this link.

Matrix Service is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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.

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