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Those Who Purchased Plantronics (NYSE:PLT) Shares Three Years Ago Have A 45% Loss To Show For It

Simply Wall St

Over the last month the Plantronics, Inc. (NYSE:PLT) has been much stronger than before, rebounding by 33%. But that cannot eclipse the less-than-impressive returns over the last three years. Truth be told the share price declined 45% in three years and that return, Dear Reader, falls short of what you could have got from passive investing with an index fund.

View our latest analysis for Plantronics

Given that Plantronics 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. 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.

Over three years, Plantronics grew revenue at 32% per year. That's well above most other pre-profit companies. While its revenue increased, the share price dropped at a rate of 18% per year. That seems like an unlucky result for holders. It seems likely that actual growth fell short of shareholders' expectations. Still, with high hopes now tempered, now might prove to be an opportunity to buy.

You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

NYSE:PLT Income Statement, January 10th 2020

It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Plantronics will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Plantronics the TSR over the last 3 years was -42%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 27% in the last year, Plantronics shareholders lost 14% (even including dividends) . 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 8.3% 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. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

Plantronics 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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.