For many, the main point of investing is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But every investor is virtually certain to have both over-performing and under-performing stocks. So we wouldn’t blame long term Bilfinger SE (FRA:GBF) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 56% over a half decade. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 41%. Even worse, it’s down 12% in about a month, which isn’t fun at all.
Bilfinger isn’t currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. 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 five years Bilfinger saw its revenue shrink by 13% per year. That’s definitely a weaker result than most pre-profit companies report. Arguably, the market has responded appropriately to this business performance by sending the share price down 15% (annualized) in the same time period. We don’t generally like to own companies that lose money and don’t grow revenues. You might be better off spending your money on a leisure activity. You’d want to research this company pretty thoroughly before buying, it looks a bit too risky for us.
You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Bilfinger, it has a TSR of -49% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that Bilfinger shareholders are down 39% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that’s worse than the broader market decline of 7.5%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there’s a good opportunity. Regrettably, last year’s performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 13% 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. Before forming an opinion on Bilfinger you might want to consider the cold hard cash it pays as a dividend. This free chart tracks its dividend over time.
But note: Bilfinger may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on DE exchanges.
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.
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.