Investing in Ampco-Pittsburgh (NYSE:AP) three years ago would have delivered you a 72% gain

[view original post]

Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation (NYSE:AP) shareholders have seen the share price descend 13% over the month. But that shouldn’t obscure the pleasing returns achieved by shareholders over the last three years. To wit, the share price did better than an index fund, climbing 72% during that period.

So let’s investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business’ progress.

See our latest analysis for Ampco-Pittsburgh

Ampco-Pittsburgh isn’t currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. That’s because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.

Ampco-Pittsburgh actually saw its revenue drop by 8.7% per year over three years. Despite the lack of revenue growth, the stock has returned 20%, compound, over three years. Unless the company is going to make profits soon, we would be pretty cautious about it.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-and-revenue-growth

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Ampco-Pittsburgh’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

Investors in Ampco-Pittsburgh had a tough year, with a total loss of 20%, against a market gain of about 1.4%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Unfortunately, last year’s performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 10% over the last half decade. We realise that Baron Rothschild 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 business. 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.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US 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.