It has been approximately 2 ½ months since I advised investors to steer clear of Turtle Beach Corporation (NASDAQ:HEAR) shares. Since then, the stock has underperformed, losing about 3.9%, while the S&P 500 (SP500) gained 3.2%. This underperformance presents a potential buying opportunity if the stock reaches the right price. To determine whether to reinvest, one must analyze the latest financial results and valuation.
Despite the possibility of a profitable buyout, there are numerous reasons to continue avoiding HEAR stock. The company’s financial performance remains troubled, with limited prospects for improvement. While a successful sale could yield a 22% return, there is uncertainty surrounding this outcome, and investors may find better risk-adjusted returns elsewhere. Additionally, the stock is not attractively priced, with investors seeking higher returns for the associated level of risk.
Examining the Financial Snapshot
Although the latest financial results show a slight improvement from last year, they are still unfavorable. While revenue for the first half of 2023 increased by 13% ($11.5 million), net income only improved by $1.67 million due to high cost of revenue. The company is still experiencing losses, with a net loss of $22.6 million in the first two quarters of the year. Furthermore, comparing the current period to pre-pandemic times reveals a decline in net income of approximately $23.3 million, despite a 15% increase in revenue. This is primarily due to significant increases in expenses such as cost of revenue, selling and marketing, research and development, and general and administrative costs.
Although the company’s capital structure has improved, with cash representing 24% of total liabilities, the overall assessment is that Turtle Beach continues to struggle. Net income has been volatile and on a downward trend since its peak in 2018.
The Stock and Investor Expectations
It is essential to differentiate between owning stocks and owning companies. While Turtle Beach generates revenue by selling products, the stock itself is influenced by market sentiment and various external factors. Recent stock performance demonstrates the influence of timing, with slight variations in returns for investors who purchased shares just days apart. This highlights the importance of acquiring stocks at lower prices to minimize risk and maximize potential rewards.
To assess the stock’s value, several measures are considered, including price-to-sales ratio and price-to-book value ratio. Currently, the market is paying approximately $2.57 for every $1 of book value, which is considered objectively expensive. Moreover, more complex valuation methods reveal optimistic growth expectations of approximately 11.7%, despite a history of financial difficulties. These expectations are reflected in analyst projections of a significant swing from a loss to positive earnings per share.
Based on these factors, it is prudent to continue avoiding Turtle Beach shares until the company returns to profitability. While there may be potential upside if the stock is acquired, the risks outweigh the potential returns. To achieve risk-adjusted returns, it is essential for investors to seek opportunities elsewhere.