Even after rising 18% this past week, LendingTree (NASDAQ:TREE) shareholders are still down 90% over the past five years
This month, we saw the LendingTree, Inc. (NASDAQ:TREE) up an impressive 92%. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last half decade have been stomach churning. Five years have seen the share price descend precipitously, down a full 90%. So we don't gain too much confidence from the recent recovery. The real question is whether the business can leave its past behind and improve itself over the years ahead. We really hope anyone holding through that price crash has a diversified portfolio. Even when you lose money, you don't have to lose the lesson.
While the stock has risen 18% in the past week but long term shareholders are still in the red, let's see what the fundamentals can tell us.
Check out our latest analysis for LendingTree
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 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.
In the last half decade LendingTree saw its share price fall as its EPS declined below zero. Since the company has fallen to a loss making position, it's hard to compare the change in EPS with the share price change. However, we can say we'd expect to see a falling share price in this scenario.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
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. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that LendingTree shareholders are down 69% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 8.1%. 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. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 14% per year over five years. 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 LendingTree better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with LendingTree (including 1 which is a bit unpleasant) .
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.
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