The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But in contrast you can make much more than 100% if the company does well. To wit, the Westport Fuel Systems Inc. (TSE:WPRT) share price has flown 118% in the last three years. Most would be happy with that. On top of that, the share price is up 14% in about a quarter.
Given that Westport Fuel Systems didn't make a profit in the last twelve months, we'll focus on revenue growth to form a quick view of its business development. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.
Over the last three years Westport Fuel Systems has grown its revenue at 23% annually. That's well above most pre-profit companies. Meanwhile, the share price performance has been pretty solid at 30% compound over three years. This suggests the market has recognized the progress the business has made, at least to a significant degree. Nonetheless, we'd say Westport Fuel Systems is still worth investigating - successful businesses can often keep growing for long periods.
The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
Take a more thorough look at Westport Fuel Systems's financial health with this free report on its balance sheet.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Westport Fuel Systems had a tough year, with a total loss of 4.1%, against a market gain of about 3.3%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. However, the loss over the last year isn't as bad as the 20% per annum loss investors have suffered over the last half decade. We'd need to see some sustained improvements in the key metrics before we could muster much enthusiasm. Shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
Of course Westport Fuel Systems may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.