Did You Manage To Avoid Reverse’s (ASX:REF) Devastating 89% Share Price Drop?

We think intelligent long term investing is the way to go. But no-one is immune from buying too high. Zooming in on an example, the Reverse Corp Limited (ASX:REF) share price dropped 89% in the last half decade. We certainly feel for shareholders who bought near the top. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 74%. Furthermore, it’s down 47% in about a quarter. That’s not much fun for holders. 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.

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.

View our latest analysis for Reverse

Reverse 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. 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 Reverse saw its revenue shrink by 7.6% per year. While far from catastrophic that is not good. The share price fall of 36% (per year, over five years) is a stern reminder that money-losing companies are expected to grow revenue. We’re generally averse to companies with declining revenues, but we’re not alone in that. That is not really what the successful investors we know aim for.

The chart below shows how revenue and earnings have changed with time, (if you click on the chart you can see the actual values).

ASX:REF Income Statement, March 21st 2019
ASX:REF Income Statement, March 21st 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. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

A Dividend Lost

The share price return figures discussed above don’t include the value of dividends paid previously, but the total shareholder return (TSR) does. Many would argue the TSR gives a more complete picture of the value a stock brings to its holders. Reverse’s TSR over the last 5 years is -63%; better than its share price return. Even though the company isn’t paying dividends at the moment, it has done in the past.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 8.3% in the last year, Reverse shareholders lost 35%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year’s performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 18% over the last half decade. 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.

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.

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.