Marchex, Inc. (NASDAQ:MCHX) shareholders will doubtless be very grateful to see the share price up 45% in the last quarter. But that cannot eclipse the less-than-impressive returns over the last three years. In fact, the share price is down 43% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return.
It's worthwhile assessing if the company's economics have been moving in lockstep with these underwhelming shareholder returns, or if there is some disparity between the two. So let's do just that.
Marchex isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.
In the last three years Marchex saw its revenue shrink by 15% per year. That's definitely a weaker result than most pre-profit companies report. On the face of it we'd posit the share price fall of 13% compound, over three years is well justified by the fundamental deterioration. It would probably be worth asking whether the company can fund itself to profitability. The company will need to return to revenue growth as quickly as possible, if it wants to see some enthusiasm from investors.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 22% in the twelve months, Marchex shareholders did even worse, losing 40%. 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 5% over the last half decade. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should "buy when there is blood on the streets", but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Marchex better, we need to consider many other factors. Even so, be aware that Marchex is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is potentially serious...
Of course Marchex 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 US exchanges.
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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.
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