Many investors define successful investing as beating the market average over the long term. But its virtually certain that sometimes you will buy stocks that fall short of the market average returns. We regret to report that long term International Consolidated Airlines Group, S.A. (LON:IAG) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 70% in three years, versus a market decline of about 13%. It’s up 4.1% in the last seven days.
International Consolidated Airlines Group wasn’t profitable in the last twelve months, it is unlikely we’ll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.
In the last three years International Consolidated Airlines Group saw its revenue shrink by 27% per year. That’s definitely a weaker result than most pre-profit companies report. Arguably, the market has responded appropriately to this business performance by sending the share price down 19% (annualized) in the same time period. Bagholders or ‘baggies’ are people who buy more of a stock as the price collapses. They are then left ‘holding the bag’ if the shares turn out to be worthless. After losing money on a declining business with falling stock price, we always consider whether eager bagholders are still offering us a reasonable exit price.
The company’s revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
It’s good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That’s a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. You can see what analysts are…