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Investing in EcoSynthetix (TSE:ECO) five years ago would have delivered you a 80% gain

Stock pickers are generally looking for stocks that will outperform the broader market. Buying under-rated businesses is one path to excess returns. To wit, the EcoSynthetix share price has climbed 80% in five years, easily topping the market return of 32% (ignoring dividends).

Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

Check out our latest analysis for EcoSynthetix

Given that EcoSynthetix 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.

Over the last half decade EcoSynthetix's revenue has actually been trending down at about 4.8% per year. Despite the lack of revenue growth, the stock has returned a respectable 12%, compound, over that time. To us that suggests that there probably isn't a lot of correlation between the past revenue performance and the share price, but a closer look at analyst forecasts and the bottom line may well explain a lot.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of EcoSynthetix's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 0.2% in the last year, EcoSynthetix shareholders lost 17%. 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. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 12%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. 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 2 warning signs for EcoSynthetix you should be aware of, and 1 of them is concerning.

EcoSynthetix is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

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

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.