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Investors in Sylogist (TSE:SYZ) have unfortunately lost 47% over the last year

It's easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. When you buy individual stocks, you can make higher profits, but you also face the risk of under-performance. Investors in Sylogist Ltd. (TSE:SYZ) have tasted that bitter downside in the last year, as the share price dropped 50%. That's well below the market decline of 3.2%. Even if you look out three years, the returns are still disappointing, with the share price down34% in that time.

So let's have a look and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

View our latest analysis for Sylogist

To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

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Unfortunately Sylogist reported an EPS drop of 35% for the last year. This reduction in EPS is not as bad as the 50% share price fall. So it seems the market was too confident about the business, a year ago. Of course, with a P/E ratio of 50.31, the market remains optimistic.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Sylogist's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Sylogist's TSR for the last 1 year was -47%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

Investors in Sylogist had a tough year, with a total loss of 47% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 3.2%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 5% per year over five years. 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. 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 3 warning signs with Sylogist (at least 1 which is a bit concerning) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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 CA 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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