As an investor its worth striving to ensure your overall portfolio beats the market average. But if you try your hand at stock picking, your risk returning less than the market. We regret to report that long term Premier Miton Group plc (LON:PMI) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 42% in three years, versus a market decline of about 11%. There was little comfort for shareholders in the last week as the price declined a further 2.5%.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.
During the three years that the share price fell, Premier Miton Group's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 21% each year. In comparison the 16% compound annual share price decline isn't as bad as the EPS drop-off. This suggests that the market retains some optimism around long term earnings stability, despite past EPS declines.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Premier Miton Group'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. In the case of Premier Miton Group, it has a TSR of -32% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Pleasingly, Premier Miton Group's total shareholder return last year was 12%. That's including the dividend. That certainly beats the loss of about 10% per year over three years. It could well be that the business has turned around -- or else regained the confidence of investors. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Premier Miton Group you should know about.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB exchanges.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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