Navigator Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:NVGS) shareholders will doubtless be very grateful to see the share price up 39% in the last quarter. But in truth the last year hasn't been good for the share price. In fact the stock is down 16% in the last year, well below the market return.
Given that Navigator Holdings 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. 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 twelve months, Navigator Holdings increased its revenue by 5.8%. That's not a very high growth rate considering it doesn't make profits. Given this fairly low revenue growth (and lack of profits), it's not particularly surprising to see the stock down 16% in a year. In a hot market it's easy to forget growth is the life-blood of a loss making company. But if you buy a loss making company then you could become a loss making investor.
The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Navigator Holdings had a tough year, with a total loss of 16%, against a market gain of about 22%. 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 1.7% over the last half decade. 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. Take risks, for example - Navigator Holdings has 2 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit unpleasant) we think you should know about.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are 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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