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Further weakness as Yancoal Australia (ASX:YAL) drops 7.4% this week, taking five-year losses to 71%

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It is doubtless a positive to see that the Yancoal Australia Ltd (ASX:YAL) share price has gained some 68% in the last three months. But spare a thought for the long term holders, who have held the stock as it bled value over the last five years. Like a ship taking on water, the share price has sunk 78% in that time. So we don't gain too much confidence from the recent recovery. The million dollar question is whether the company can justify a long term recovery.

If the past week is anything to go by, investor sentiment for Yancoal Australia isn't positive, so let's see if there's a mismatch between fundamentals and the share price.

See our latest analysis for Yancoal Australia

Because Yancoal Australia 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. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good 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.

In the last half decade, Yancoal Australia saw its revenue increase by 18% per year. That's well above most other pre-profit companies. So on the face of it we're really surprised to see the share price has averaged a fall of 12% each year, in the same time period. You'd have to assume the market is worried that profits won't come soon enough. While there might be an opportunity here, you'd want to take a close look at the balance sheet strength.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

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

If you are thinking of buying or selling Yancoal Australia stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between Yancoal Australia's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Its history of dividend payouts mean that Yancoal Australia's TSR, which was a 71% drop over the last 5 years, was not as bad as the share price return.

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Yancoal Australia shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 75% over the last year. Notably the five-year annualised TSR loss of 11% per year compares very unfavourably with the recent share price performance. This makes us a little wary, but the business might have turned around its fortunes. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with Yancoal Australia (at least 2 which make us uncomfortable) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.

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

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 (at) simplywallst.com.

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