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Shareholders in MHP (LON:MHPC) are in the red if they invested three years ago

·3-min read

MHP SE (LON:MHPC) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 23% in the last quarter. Meanwhile over the last three years the stock has dropped hard. In that time, the share price dropped 56%. So the improvement may be a real relief to some. After all, could be that the fall was overdone.

Now let's have a look at the company's fundamentals, and see if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

See our latest analysis for MHP

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.

Although the share price is down over three years, MHP actually managed to grow EPS by 53% per year in that time. Given the share price reaction, one might suspect that EPS is not a good guide to the business performance during the period (perhaps due to a one-off loss or gain). Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.

It's worth taking a look at other metrics, because the EPS growth doesn't seem to match with the falling share price.

Revenue is actually up 8.7% over the three years, so the share price drop doesn't seem to hinge on revenue, either. This analysis is just perfunctory, but it might be worth researching MHP more closely, as sometimes stocks fall unfairly. This could present an opportunity.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

It is of course excellent to see how MHP has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. If you are thinking of buying or selling MHP stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.

What About The Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

Investors should note that there's a difference between MHP's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. 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. Dividends have been really beneficial for MHP shareholders, and that cash payout explains why its total shareholder loss of 50%, over the last 3 years, isn't as bad as the share price return.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 3.1% in the twelve months, MHP shareholders did even worse, losing 20%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 8% 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. 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. Even so, be aware that MHP is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 3 of those are potentially serious...

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will 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.

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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