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Despite shrinking by US$2.2b in the past week, Baker Hughes (NASDAQ:BKR) shareholders are still up 197% over 3 years

It might be of some concern to shareholders to see the Baker Hughes Company (NASDAQ:BKR) share price down 16% in the last month. In contrast, the return over three years has been impressive. In three years the stock price has launched 169% higher: a great result. It's not uncommon to see a share price retrace a bit, after a big gain. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price.

While this past week has detracted from the company's three-year return, let's look at the recent trends of the underlying business and see if the gains have been in alignment.

Check out our latest analysis for Baker Hughes

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

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Baker Hughes has made a profit in the past. On the other hand, it reported a trailing twelve months loss, suggesting it isn't reliably profitable. So it might be better to look at other metrics to try to understand the share price.

You can only imagine how long term shareholders feel about the declining revenue trend (slipping at 4.3% per year). The only thing that's clear is there is low correlation between Baker Hughes' share price and its historic fundamental data. Further research may be required!

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. If you are thinking of buying or selling Baker Hughes stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Baker Hughes, it has a TSR of 197% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 13% in the twelve months, Baker Hughes shareholders did even worse, losing 22% (even including dividends). Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 1.5% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Baker Hughes better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - Baker Hughes has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do 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 American 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.

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