Some stocks are best avoided. It hits us in the gut when we see fellow investors suffer a loss. Spare a thought for those who held Cryosite Limited (ASX:CTE) for five whole years - as the share price tanked 88%. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 33%. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 22% in the last 90 days.
We really feel for shareholders in this scenario. It's a good reminder of the importance of diversification, and it's worth keeping in mind there's more to life than money, anyway.
Cryosite isn't a profitable company, so it is unlikely we'll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong 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.
Over half a decade Cryosite reduced its trailing twelve month revenue by 10% for each year. That's definitely a weaker result than most pre-profit companies report. So it's not altogether surprising to see the share price down 35% per year in the same time period. We don't think this is a particularly promising picture. Of course, the poor performance could mean the market has been too severe selling down. That can happen.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
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.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
Investors should note that there's a difference between Cryosite's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. Its history of dividend payouts mean that Cryosite's TSR, which was a 85% drop over the last 5 years, was not as bad as the share price return.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Cryosite had a tough year, with a total loss of 33%, against a market gain of about 23%. 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. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 31% per year over five years. 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. You might want to assess this data-rich visualization of its earnings, revenue and cash flow.
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.
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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.