Investing in Namoi Cotton (ASX:NAM) three years ago would have delivered you a 30% gain

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One simple way to benefit from the stock market is to buy an index fund. But if you buy good businesses at attractive prices, your portfolio returns could exceed the average market return. Just take a look at Namoi Cotton Limited (ASX:NAM), which is up 30%, over three years, soundly beating the market return of 20% (not including dividends).

Now it’s worth having a look at the company’s fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

View our latest analysis for Namoi Cotton

Given that Namoi Cotton 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. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. 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.

Namoi Cotton actually saw its revenue drop by 27% per year over three years. Despite the lack of revenue growth, the stock has returned 9%, 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

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

We’re pleased to report that Namoi Cotton shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 28% over one year. That’s better than the annualised return of 3% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Namoi Cotton better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example – Namoi Cotton has 3 warning signs (and 1 which shouldn’t be ignored) we think you should know about.

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 AU exchanges.

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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.