Such Is Life: How Heliospectra (STO:HELIO) Shareholders Saw Their Shares Drop 64%

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 10, 2020
OM:HELIO

We think intelligent long term investing is the way to go. But along the way some stocks are going to perform badly. Zooming in on an example, the Heliospectra AB (publ) (STO:HELIO) share price dropped 64% in the last half decade. That's an unpleasant experience for long term holders. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 28% in the last 90 days. 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 Heliospectra

Given that Heliospectra 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. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.

In the last half decade, Heliospectra saw its revenue increase by 32% per year. That's better than most loss-making companies. In contrast, the share price is has averaged a loss of 18% per year - that's quite disappointing. This could mean high expectations have been tempered, potentially because investors are looking to the bottom line. If you think the company can keep up its revenue growth, you'd have to consider the possibility that there's an opportunity here.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

OM:HELIO Income Statement, March 10th 2020
OM:HELIO Income Statement, March 10th 2020

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.

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

Investors should note that there's a difference between Heliospectra's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. We note that Heliospectra's TSR, at -55% is higher than its share price return of -64%. When you consider it hasn't been paying a dividend, this data suggests shareholders have benefitted from a spin-off, or had the opportunity to acquire attractively priced shares in a discounted capital raising.

A Different Perspective

Investors in Heliospectra had a tough year, with a total loss of 4.6%, against a market gain of about 5.0%. 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, longer term shareholders are suffering worse, given the loss of 15% doled out over the last five years. We'd need to see some sustained improvements in the key metrics before we could muster much enthusiasm. 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. Take risks, for example - Heliospectra has 5 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

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 SE exchanges.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.

Promoted
If you decide to trade Heliospectra, use the lowest-cost* platform that is rated #1 Overall by Barron's, Interactive Brokers. Trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds on 135 markets, all from a single integrated account.

Discounted cash flow calculation for every stock

Simply Wall St does a detailed discounted cash flow calculation every 6 hours for every stock on the market, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any company just search here. It’s FREE.


Simply Wall St character - Warren

Simply Wall St

Simply Wall St is a financial technology startup focused on providing unbiased, high-quality research coverage on every listed company in the world. Our research team consists of equity analysts with a public, market-beating track record. Learn more about the team behind Simply Wall St.