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HSS Hire Group plc (LON:HSS) shareholders will doubtless be very grateful to see the share price up 83% in the last quarter. But will that heal all the wounds inflicted over 5 years of declines? Unlikely. Like a ship taking on water, the share price has sunk 77% in that time. So we don't gain too much confidence from the recent recovery. The real question is whether the business can leave its past behind and improve itself over the years ahead.
Given that HSS Hire Group 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. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.
In the last five years HSS Hire Group saw its revenue shrink by 2.4% per year. While far from catastrophic that is not good. The share price fall of 12% (per year, over five years) is a stern reminder that money-losing companies are expected to grow revenue. We're generally averse to companies with declining revenues, but we're not alone in that. Fear of becoming a 'bagholder' may be keeping people away from this stock.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 32% in the last year, HSS Hire Group shareholders lost 26%. 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 12% 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. 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 - HSS Hire Group has 2 warning signs (and 1 which shouldn't be ignored) we think you should know about.
HSS Hire Group 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 GB 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.
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