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The past three years for Cann Group (ASX:CAN) investors has not been profitable

Cann Group Limited (ASX:CAN) shareholders will doubtless be very grateful to see the share price up 35% in the last month. But that is meagre solace in the face of the shocking decline over three years. Indeed, the share price is down a whopping 84% in the last three years. So we're relieved for long term holders to see a bit of uplift. Only time will tell if the company can sustain the turnaround. We really hope anyone holding through that price crash has a diversified portfolio. Even when you lose money, you don't have to lose the lesson.

So let's have a look and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

Check out our latest analysis for Cann Group

Cann Group isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.

Over three years, Cann Group grew revenue at 63% per year. That's well above most other pre-profit companies. So why has the share priced crashed 23% per year, in the same time? You'd want to take a close look at the balance sheet, as well as the losses. Ultimately, revenue growth doesn't amount to much if the business can't scale well. Unless the balance sheet is strong, the company might have to raise capital.

You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

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. This free interactive report on Cann Group's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 11% in the last year, Cann Group shareholders lost 21%. 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. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 8% per year over five years. 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. 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. For example, we've discovered 5 warning signs for Cann Group (2 make us uncomfortable!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

Cann Group is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

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