It's easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. When you buy individual stocks, you can make higher profits, but you also face the risk of under-performance. Unfortunately the Vonex Limited (ASX:VN8) share price slid 27% over twelve months. That's well bellow the market return of -18%. Vonex may have better days ahead, of course; we've only looked at a one year period. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 20% in the last three months. But this could be related to the weak market, which is down 29% in the same period.
Vonex wasn't profitable in the last twelve months, 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. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.
In the last year Vonex saw its revenue grow by 13%. That's not a very high growth rate considering it doesn't make profits. Given this lacklustre revenue growth, the share price drop of 27% seems pretty appropriate. In a hot market it's easy to forget growth is the life-blood of a loss making company. So remember, if you buy a profitless company then you risk being a profitless investor.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
Balance sheet strength is crucial. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.
A Different Perspective
We doubt Vonex shareholders are happy with the loss of 27% over twelve months. That falls short of the market, which lost 18%. That's disappointing, but it's worth keeping in mind that the market-wide selling wouldn't have helped. The share price decline has continued throughout the most recent three months, down 20%, suggesting an absence of enthusiasm from investors. Basically, most investors should be wary of buying into a poor-performing stock, unless the business itself has clearly improved. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Vonex better, we need to consider many other factors. Even so, be aware that Vonex is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those makes us a bit uncomfortable...
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.
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