We think intelligent long term investing is the way to go. But that doesn't mean long term investors can avoid big losses. For example the Kaman Corporation (NYSE:KAMN) share price dropped 64% over five years. That's not a lot of fun for true believers. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 49%.
Since shareholders are down over the longer term, lets look at the underlying fundamentals over the that time and see if they've been consistent with returns.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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).
Over five years Kaman's earnings per share dropped significantly, falling to a loss, with the share price also lower. The recent extraordinary items contributed to this situation. At present it's hard to make valid comparisons between EPS and the share price. However, we can say we'd expect to see a falling share price in this scenario.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
Dive deeper into Kaman's key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Kaman's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Kaman's TSR for the last 5 years was -60%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 7.7% in the twelve months, Kaman shareholders did even worse, losing 47% (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 10% 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. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Kaman better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Kaman you should be aware of.
We will like Kaman better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on American 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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