As an investor its worth striving to ensure your overall portfolio beats the market average. But if you try your hand at stock picking, your risk returning less than the market. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term Bravura Solutions Limited (ASX:BVS) shareholders, since the share price is down 28% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 36%.
Since shareholders are down over the longer term, lets look at the underlying fundamentals over the that time and see if they've been consistent with returns.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
During the unfortunate three years of share price decline, Bravura Solutions actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 3.5% per year. This is quite a puzzle, and suggests there might be something temporarily buoying the share price. Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.
It's pretty reasonable to suspect the market was previously to bullish on the stock, and has since moderated expectations. But it's possible a look at other metrics will be enlightening.
The company has kept revenue pretty healthy over the last three years, so we doubt that explains the falling share price. We're not entirely sure why the share price is dropped, but it does seem likely investors have become less optimistic about the business.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
Take a more thorough look at Bravura Solutions' financial health with this free report on its balance sheet.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Bravura Solutions the TSR over the last 3 years was -22%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
The last twelve months weren't great for Bravura Solutions shares, which cost holders 2.1%, including dividends, while the market was up about 30%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, the longer term story isn't pretty, with investment losses running at 7% per year over three years. We would want clear information suggesting the company will grow, before taking the view that the share price will stabilize. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for Bravura Solutions you should be aware of.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
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.
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