It is a pleasure to report that the AutoWeb, Inc. (NASDAQ:AUTO) is up 224% in the last quarter. But will that repair the damage for the weary investors who have owned this stock as it declined over half a decade? Probably not. Indeed, the share price is down a whopping 80% in that time. While the recent increase might be a green shoot, we’re certainly hesitant to rejoice. The real question is whether the business can leave its past behind and improve itself over the years ahead.
We really feel for shareholders in this scenario. It’s a good reminder of the importance of diversification, and it’s worth keeping in mind there’s more to life than money, anyway.
See our latest analysis for AutoWeb
Because AutoWeb made a loss in the last twelve months, we think the market is probably more focussed on revenue and revenue growth, at least for now. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. That’s because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.
In the last five years AutoWeb saw its revenue shrink by 4.6% per year. While far from catastrophic that is not good. The share price fall of 13% (per year, over five years) is a stern reminder that money-losing companies are expected to grow revenue. It takes a certain kind of mental fortitude (or recklessness) to buy shares in a company that loses money and doesn’t grow revenue. That is not really what the successful investors we know aim for.
The company’s revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
If you are thinking of buying or selling AutoWeb stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.
A Different Perspective
It’s nice to see that AutoWeb shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 57% over the last year. There’s no doubt those recent returns are much better than the TSR loss of 13% per year over five years. We generally put more weight on the long term performance over the short term, but the recent improvement could hint at a (positive) inflection point within the business. 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. Take risks, for example – AutoWeb has 4 warning signs (and 1 which shouldn’t be ignored) we think you should know about.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US 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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email [email protected]