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Shareholders in Westport Fuel Systems (TSE:WPRT) are in the red if they invested three years ago

As every investor would know, not every swing hits the sweet spot. But really big losses can really drag down an overall portfolio. So spare a thought for the long term shareholders of Westport Fuel Systems Inc. (TSE:WPRT); the share price is down a whopping 76% in the last three years. That might cause some serious doubts about the merits of the initial decision to buy the stock, to put it mildly. And the ride hasn't got any smoother in recent times over the last year, with the price 25% lower in that time. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 25% in the last three months. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.

With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.

See our latest analysis for Westport Fuel Systems

Because Westport Fuel Systems made a loss in the last twelve months, we think the market is probably more focussed on revenue and revenue growth, at least for now. 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.

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In the last three years, Westport Fuel Systems saw its revenue grow by 7.3% per year, compound. That's not a very high growth rate considering it doesn't make profits. But the share price crash at 21% per year does seem a bit harsh! While we're definitely wary of the stock, after that kind of performance, it could be an over-reaction. Before considering a purchase, take a look at the losses the company is racking up.

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. You can see what analysts are predicting for Westport Fuel Systems in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Westport Fuel Systems shareholders are down 25% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 0.8%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 11% 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. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Westport Fuel Systems by clicking this link.

Westport Fuel Systems is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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