In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it's worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But even the best stock picker will only win with some selections. So we wouldn't blame long term Edgewell Personal Care Company (NYSE:EPC) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 51% over a half decade. But it's up 8.1% in the last week. But this could be related to the strong market, with stocks up around 5.9% in the same time.
On a more encouraging note the company has added US$145m to its market cap in just the last 7 days, so let's see if we can determine what's driven the five-year loss for shareholders.
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 the five years over which the share price declined, Edgewell Personal Care's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 6.9% each year. Readers should note that the share price has fallen faster than the EPS, at a rate of 13% per year, over the period. This implies that the market is more cautious about the business these days.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that Edgewell Personal Care has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 8.9% in the twelve months, Edgewell Personal Care shareholders did even worse, losing 18% (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 8% 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. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Edgewell Personal Care better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 4 warning signs for Edgewell Personal Care (1 is potentially serious) that you should be aware of.
Of course Edgewell Personal Care may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.
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.