It's easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. Active investors aim to buy stocks that vastly outperform the market - but in the process, they risk under-performance. For example, the Travis Perkins plc (LON:TPK) share price is down 49% in the last year. That contrasts poorly with the market decline of 5.4%. Even if you look out three years, the returns are still disappointing, with the share price down33% in that time. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 20% in the last 90 days. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.
Given the past week has been tough on shareholders, let's investigate the fundamentals and see what we can learn.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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 the unfortunate twelve months during which the Travis Perkins share price fell, it actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 75%. Of course, the situation might betray previous over-optimism about growth.
The divergence between the EPS and the share price is quite notable, during the year. So it's well worth checking out some other metrics, too.
Travis Perkins' 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 graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
Travis Perkins is well known by investors, and plenty of clever analysts have tried to predict the future profit levels. If you are thinking of buying or selling Travis Perkins stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst consensus estimates for future profits.
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. In the case of Travis Perkins, it has a TSR of -46% for the last 1 year. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 5.4% in the twelve months, Travis Perkins shareholders did even worse, losing 46% (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. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 4% over the last half decade. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should "buy when there is blood on the streets", but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. 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 Travis Perkins , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB 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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