Did Changing Sentiment Drive Veris’s (ASX:VRS) Share Price Down A Worrying 68%?

The nature of investing is that you win some, and you lose some. Anyone who held Veris Limited (ASX:VRS) over the last year knows what a loser feels like. The share price has slid 68% in that time. Even if you look out three years, the returns are still disappointing, with the share price down (the share price is down 57%) in that time. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 31% in the last three months. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.

Check out our latest analysis for Veris

Given that Veris 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. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.

In the last twelve months, Veris increased its revenue by 41%. We think that is pretty nice growth. Unfortunately it seems investors wanted more, because the share price is down 68% in that time. It is of course possible that the business will still deliver strong growth, it will just take longer than expected to do it. To our minds it isn’t enough to just look at revenue, anyway. Always consider when profits will flow.

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

ASX:VRS Income Statement, March 22nd 2019
ASX:VRS Income Statement, March 22nd 2019

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. You can see what analysts are predicting for Veris in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

Investors should note that there’s a difference between Veris’s total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we’ve covered above. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings. Veris’s TSR of was a loss of 67% for the year. That wasn’t as bad as its share price return, because it has paid dividends.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 7.5% in the last year, Veris shareholders lost 67% (even including dividends). However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year’s performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 14% per year over five years. We realise that Buffett has said investors should ‘buy when there is blood on the streets’, but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality businesses. 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.

Veris 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 AU 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 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. Thank you for reading.