If You Had Bought Centaur Media (LON:CAU) Stock Five Years Ago, You'd Be Sitting On A 66% Loss, Today

Simply Wall St

Generally speaking long term investing is the way to go. But no-one is immune from buying too high. To wit, the Centaur Media Plc (LON:CAU) share price managed to fall 66% over five long years. That's not a lot of fun for true believers. And we doubt long term believers are the only worried holders, since the stock price has declined 54% over the last twelve months. Even worse, it's down 39% in about a month, which isn't fun at all. However, we note the price may have been impacted by the broader market, which is down 22% in the same time period.

See our latest analysis for Centaur Media

Given that Centaur Media 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. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.

In the last five years Centaur Media saw its revenue shrink by 2.0% per year. That's not what investors generally want to see. With neither profit nor revenue growth, the loss of 19% per year doesn't really surprise us. We don't think anyone is rushing to buy this stock. Not that many investors like to invest in companies that are losing money and not growing revenue.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

LSE:CAU Income Statement April 4th 2020

If you are thinking of buying or selling Centaur Media stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Centaur Media the TSR over the last 5 years was -52%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 22% in the twelve months, Centaur Media shareholders did even worse, losing 48% (even including dividends) . However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 14% 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. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Centaur Media better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 5 warning signs for Centaur Media you should be aware of, and 1 of them is a bit concerning.

Of course Centaur Media may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB 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.