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The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. But on a lighter note, a good company can see its share price rise well over 100%. For instance, the price of TerraCom Limited (ASX:TER) stock is up an impressive 143% over the last five years. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 26% gain in the last three months. But this could be related to the strong market, which is up 13% in the last three months.
TerraCom 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. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.
For the last half decade, TerraCom can boast revenue growth at a rate of 67% per year. That's well above most pre-profit companies. So it's not entirely surprising that the share price reflected this performance by increasing at a rate of 19% per year, in that time. This suggests the market has well and truly recognized the progress the business has made. To our minds that makes TerraCom worth investigating - it may have its best days ahead.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of TerraCom, it has a TSR of 149% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
Investors in TerraCom had a tough year, with a total loss of 53% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 3.7%. 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. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 20% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. 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. For example, we've discovered 4 warning signs for TerraCom (2 can't be ignored!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
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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