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Volatility 101: Should Rolls-Royce Holdings (LON:RR.) Shares Have Dropped 18%?

Simply Wall St

The main aim of stock picking is to find the market-beating stocks. But the main game is to find enough winners to more than offset the losers So we wouldn't blame long term Rolls-Royce Holdings plc (LON:RR.) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 18% over a half decade. Unhappily, the share price slid 2.0% in the last week.

Check out our latest analysis for Rolls-Royce Holdings

Given that Rolls-Royce Holdings 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. 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.

In the last half decade, Rolls-Royce Holdings saw its revenue increase by 3.8% per year. That's not a very high growth rate considering it doesn't make profits. Given this fairly low revenue growth (and lack of profits), it's not particularly surprising to see the stock down 3.9% (annualized) in the same time frame. Investors should consider how bad the losses are, and whether the company can make it to profitability with ease. Shareholders will want the company to approach profitability if it can't grow revenue any faster.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

LSE:RR. Income Statement, December 5th 2019

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. You can see what analysts are predicting for Rolls-Royce Holdings in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Rolls-Royce Holdings's TSR for the last 5 years was -11%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 11% in the last year, Rolls-Royce Holdings 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 2.2% 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. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Rolls-Royce Holdings by clicking this link.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB 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.