Investing in stocks comes with the risk that the share price will fall. Anyone who held Imperial Metals Corporation (TSE:III) over the last year knows what a loser feels like. In that relatively short period, the share price has plunged 50%. Longer term investors have fared much better, since the share price is up 39% in three years.
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.
Imperial Metals 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. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong 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 twelve months, Imperial Metals increased its revenue by 29%. We think that is pretty nice growth. Meanwhile, the share price tanked 50%, suggesting the market had much higher expectations. It may well be that the business remains approximately on track, but its revenue growth has simply been delayed. To our minds it isn't enough to just look at revenue, anyway. Always consider when profits will flow.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Imperial Metals' earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 9.2% in the twelve months, Imperial Metals shareholders did even worse, losing 50%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 2% 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 Imperial Metals better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Imperial Metals (2 make us uncomfortable!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
Imperial Metals 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 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.
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