Investors can approximate the average market return by buying an index fund. While individual stocks can be big winners, plenty more fail to generate satisfactory returns. For example, the Speedy Hire Plc (LON:SDY) share price is down 32% in the last year. That contrasts poorly with the market decline of 4.9%. However, the longer term returns haven't been so bad, with the stock down 5.6% in the last three years. In contrast, the stock price has popped 9.5% in the last thirty days. But this could be related to good market conditions, with stocks up around 5.0% during the period.
Now let's have a look at the company's fundamentals, and see if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
Even though the Speedy Hire share price is down over the year, its EPS actually improved. It could be that the share price was previously over-hyped.
The divergence between the EPS and the share price is quite notable, during the year. So it's easy to justify a look at some other metrics.
Speedy Hire's dividend seems healthy to us, so we doubt that the yield is a concern for the market. The revenue trend doesn't seem to explain why the share price is down. Of course, it could simply be that it simply fell short of the market consensus expectations.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Speedy Hire
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Speedy Hire's TSR for the last 1 year was -29%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 4.9% in the twelve months, Speedy Hire shareholders did even worse, losing 29% (even including dividends). However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 0.1% over the last half decade. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Speedy Hire , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
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 GB 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.
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