Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:LL) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 21% in the last month. But spare a thought for the long term holders, who have held the stock as it bled value over the last five years. Like a ship taking on water, the share price has sunk 83% in that time. While the recent increase might be a green shoot, we're certainly hesitant to rejoice. The fundamental business performance will ultimately determine if the turnaround can be sustained.
We really hope anyone holding through that price crash has a diversified portfolio. Even when you lose money, you don't have to lose the lesson.
Given that Lumber Liquidators Holdings 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. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. That's because it's hard to be confident a company will be sustainable if revenue growth is negligible, and it never makes a profit.
In the last half decade, Lumber Liquidators Holdings saw its revenue increase by 1.2% per year. That's not a very high growth rate considering it doesn't make profits. Nonetheless, it's fair to say the rapidly declining share price (down 30%, compound, over five years) suggests the market is very disappointed with this level of growth. We'd be pretty cautious about this one, although the sell-off may be too severe. We'd recommend focussing any further research on the likelihood of profitability in the foreseeable future, given the muted revenue growth.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. If you are thinking of buying or selling Lumber Liquidators Holdings stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.
A Different Perspective
Lumber Liquidators Holdings shareholders are down 44% for the year, but the market itself is up 4.2%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 30% over the last half decade. We realise that Buffett 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 businesses. 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.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
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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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.