It's not possible to invest over long periods without making some bad investments. But you have a problem if you face massive losses more than once in a while. So take a moment to sympathize with the long term shareholders of BSQUARE Corporation (NASDAQ:BSQR), who have seen the share price tank a massive 74% over a three year period. That would certainly shake our confidence in the decision to own the stock. And more recent buyers are having a tough time too, with a drop of 49% in the last year. It's down 2.7% in the last seven days.
Because BSQUARE is loss-making, 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.
In the last three years BSQUARE saw its revenue shrink by 14% per year. That's not what investors generally want to see. The share price fall of 36% (per year, over three years) is a stern reminder that money-losing companies are expected to grow revenue. We're generally averse to companies with declining revenues, but we're not alone in that. There's no more than a snowball's chance in hell that share price will head back to its old highs, in the short term.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
Balance sheet strength is crucial. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.
A Different Perspective
BSQUARE shareholders are down 49% for the year, but the market itself is up 16%. 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 22% over the last half decade. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. Before spending more time on BSQUARE it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.
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 US exchanges.
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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.