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Chewy (NYSE:CHWY) shareholders have endured a 72% loss from investing in the stock three years ago

Chewy, Inc. (NYSE:CHWY) shareholders will doubtless be very grateful to see the share price up 38% in the last month. But that is meagre solace in the face of the shocking decline over three years. The share price has sunk like a leaky ship, down 72% in that time. Arguably, the recent bounce is to be expected after such a bad drop. Of course the real question is whether the business can sustain a turnaround.

So let's have a look and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

See our latest analysis for Chewy

Given that Chewy only made minimal earnings in the last twelve months, we'll focus on revenue to gauge its business development. As a general rule, we think this kind of company is more comparable to loss-making stocks, since the actual profit is so low. It would be hard to believe in a more profitable future without growing revenues.

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In the last three years, Chewy saw its revenue grow by 13% per year, compound. That's a fairly respectable growth rate. So it seems unlikely the 20% share price drop (each year) is entirely about the revenue. More likely, the market was spooked by the cost of that revenue. This is exactly why investors need to diversify - even when a loss making company grows revenue, it can fail to deliver for shareholders.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Chewy will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).

A Different Perspective

Investors in Chewy had a tough year, with a total loss of 44%, against a market gain of about 23%. 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 5% 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. To that end, you should be aware of the 1 warning sign we've spotted with Chewy .

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of undervalued small cap 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 American exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com