Firstwave Cloud Technology Limited (ASX:FCT) shareholders will doubtless be very grateful to see the share price up 35% 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. Indeed, the share price is down a whopping 86% in that time. The recent bounce might mean the long decline is over, but we are not confident. The important question is if the business itself justifies a higher share price in the long term. While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn't as important as health and happiness.
Although the past week has been more reassuring for shareholders, they're still in the red over the last five years, so let's see if the underlying business has been responsible for the decline.
Given that Firstwave Cloud Technology 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.
Over five years, Firstwave Cloud Technology grew its revenue at 5.5% per year. That's far from impressive given all the money it is losing. Nonetheless, it's fair to say the rapidly declining share price (down 13%, compound, over five years) suggests the market is very disappointed with this level of growth. 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).
Balance sheet strength is crucial. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.
A Different Perspective
Firstwave Cloud Technology shareholders are down 29% for the year, but the market itself is up 24%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, longer term shareholders are suffering worse, given the loss of 13% doled out over the last five years. We'd need to see some sustained improvements in the key metrics before we could muster much enthusiasm. 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. Even so, be aware that Firstwave Cloud Technology is showing 5 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 2 of those don't sit too well with us...
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Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU exchanges.
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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