Over the last month the PGS ASA (OB:PGS) has been much stronger than before, rebounding by 58%. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last half decade have been stomach churning. Five years have seen the share price descend precipitously, down a full 79%. It's true that the recent bounce could signal the company is turning over a new leaf, but we are not so sure. The million dollar question is whether the company can justify a long term recovery.
PGS 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 PGS saw its revenue shrink by 2.9% per year. While far from catastrophic that is not good. If a business loses money, you want it to grow, so no surprises that the share price has dropped 12% each year in that time. It takes a certain kind of mental fortitude (or recklessness) to buy shares in a company that loses money and doesn't grow revenue. That is not really what the successful investors we know aim for.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
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. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on PGS
A Different Perspective
Investors in PGS had a tough year, with a total loss of 56%, against a market gain of about 24%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 12% 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. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Even so, be aware that PGS is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about...
PGS is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on NO exchanges.
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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. 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.
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