It's easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. While individual stocks can be big winners, plenty more fail to generate satisfactory returns. Unfortunately the Sierra Wireless, Inc. (TSE:SW) share price slid 16% over twelve months. That contrasts poorly with the market return of 22%. Longer term investors have fared much better, since the share price is up 3.5% in three years. And the share price decline continued over the last week, dropping some 8.5%.
If the past week is anything to go by, investor sentiment for Sierra Wireless isn't positive, so let's see if there's a mismatch between fundamentals and the share price.
Given that Sierra Wireless 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. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.
Sierra Wireless' revenue didn't grow at all in the last year. In fact, it fell 2.1%. That looks pretty grim, at a glance. Shareholders have seen the share price drop 16% in that time. That seems pretty reasonable given the lack of both profits and revenue growth. It's hard to escape the conclusion that buyers must envision either growth down the track, cost cutting, or both.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Sierra Wireless
A Different Perspective
Sierra Wireless shareholders are down 16% for the year, but the market itself is up 22%. 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 3% over the last half decade. We realise that Baron Rothschild 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 business. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Sierra Wireless you should know about.
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 CA exchanges.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.