Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 16% in the last month. But that doesn't change the fact that shareholders have received really good returns over the last five years. It's fair to say most would be happy with 158% the gain in that time. To some, the recent pullback wouldn't be surprising after such a fast rise. The more important question is whether the stock is too cheap or too expensive today.
Hecla Mining 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 fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.
For the last half decade, Hecla Mining can boast revenue growth at a rate of 6.0% per year. That's not a very high growth rate considering the bottom line. In comparison, the share price rise of 21% per year over the last half a decade is pretty impressive. Shareholders should be pretty happy with that, although interested investors might want to examine the financial data more closely to see if the gains are really justified. Some might suggest that the sentiment around the stock is rather positive.
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.
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 Hecla Mining, it has a TSR of 163% for the last 5 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
It's good to see that Hecla Mining has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 71% in the last twelve months. Of course, that includes the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 21% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. 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 - Hecla Mining has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
But note: Hecla Mining may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
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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