It is doubtless a positive to see that the Capital Senior Living Corporation ( NYSE:CSU ) share price has gained some 41% in the last three months. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last half decade have been stomach churning. Indeed, the share price is down a whopping 78% in that time. The recent bounce might mean the long decline is over, but we are not confident. The real question is whether the business can leave its past behind and improve itself over the years ahead.
Because Capital Senior Living is loss-making, we think the market is probably more focussed on revenue and revenue growth, at least for now. 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 half decade, Capital Senior Living saw its revenue increase by 5.6% per year. That's not a very high growth rate considering it doesn't make profits. It's not so sure that share price crash of 26% per year is completely deserved, but the market is doubtless disappointed. While we're definitely wary of the stock, after that kind of performance, it could be an over-reaction. We'd recommend focussing any further research on the likelihood of profitability in the foreseeable future, given the muted revenue growth.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
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. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Capital Senior Living will earn in the future (free profit forecasts) .
A Different Perspective
Investors in Capital Senior Living had a tough year, with a total loss of 44%, against a market gain of about 6.0%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 26% per year over five years. 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.
Capital Senior Living 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 US exchanges.
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