We think intelligent long term investing is the way to go. But unfortunately, some companies simply don't succeed. Zooming in on an example, the LendingClub Corporation (NYSE:LC) share price dropped 56% in the last half decade. We certainly feel for shareholders who bought near the top. And it's not just long term holders hurting, because the stock is down 31% in the last year. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 24% in the last 90 days. But this could be related to the weak market, which is down 17% in the same period.
If the past week is anything to go by, investor sentiment for LendingClub isn't positive, so let's see if there's a mismatch between fundamentals and the share price.
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
During five years of share price growth, LendingClub moved from a loss to profitability. That would generally be considered a positive, so we are surprised to see the share price is down. Other metrics may better explain the share price move.
It could be that the revenue decline of 12% per year is viewed as evidence that LendingClub is shrinking. That could explain the weak share price.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
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 report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on LendingClub
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that LendingClub shareholders are down 31% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 20%. 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 9% 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. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for LendingClub you should be aware of.
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 US 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.