Renewi plc (LON:RWI) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 15% in the last month. But only the myopic could ignore the astounding decline over three years. To wit, the share price sky-dived 79% in that time. Arguably, the recent bounce is to be expected after such a bad drop. But the more important question is whether the underlying business can justify a higher price still.
Renewi wasn't profitable in the last twelve months, it is unlikely we'll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. 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 three years, Renewi saw its revenue grow by 15% per year, compound. That's a fairly respectable growth rate. So it's hard to believe the share price decline of 21% per year is due to the revenue. It could be that the losses were much larger than expected. This is exactly why investors need to diversify - even when a loss making company grows revenue, it can fail to deliver for shareholders.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. If you are thinking of buying or selling Renewi stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We've already covered Renewi's share price action, but we should also mention its total shareholder return (TSR). Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. Dividends have been really beneficial for Renewi shareholders, and that cash payout explains why its total shareholder loss of 77%, over the last 3 years, isn't as bad as the share price return.
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that Renewi shareholders are down 28% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 12%. 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. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 11% 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. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.
Renewi is not the only stock that insiders are buying. 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 GB exchanges.
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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