Every investor on earth makes bad calls sometimes. But really big losses can really drag down an overall portfolio. So consider, for a moment, the misfortune of GasLog Ltd. (NYSE:GLOG) investors who have held the stock for three years as it declined a whopping 85%. That'd be enough to cause even the strongest minds some disquiet. And more recent buyers are having a tough time too, with a drop of 80% in the last year. And the share price decline continued over the last week, dropping some 19%.
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.
Because GasLog made a loss in the last twelve months, we think the market is probably more focussed on revenue and revenue growth, at least for now. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.
In the last three years, GasLog saw its revenue grow by 11% per year, compound. That's a pretty good rate of top-line growth. So it's hard to believe the share price decline of 23% per year is due to the revenue. It could be that the losses were much larger than expected. If you buy into companies that lose money then you always risk losing money yourself. Just don't lose the lesson.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
Take a more thorough look at GasLog's financial health with this free report on its balance sheet.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of GasLog, it has a TSR of -82% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 16% in the last year, GasLog shareholders lost 77% (even including dividends). 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. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 11% per year over five years. 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. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 4 warning signs for GasLog you should be aware of.
We will like GasLog better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US 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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