The main aim of stock picking is to find the market-beating stocks. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in PayPoint plc (LON:PAY), since the last five years saw the share price fall 36%.
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.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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).
Looking back five years, both PayPoint's share price and EPS declined; the latter at a rate of 8.0% per year. This change in EPS is reasonably close to the 9% average annual decrease in the share price. This implies that the market has had a fairly steady view of the stock. Rather, the share price change has reflected changes in earnings per share.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We know that PayPoint has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? This free report showing analyst revenue forecasts should help you figure out if the EPS growth can be sustained.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of PayPoint, it has a TSR of -10% for the last 5 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
While it's never nice to take a loss, PayPoint shareholders can take comfort that , including dividends,their trailing twelve month loss of 8.3% wasn't as bad as the market loss of around 11%. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it's worse than the annualised loss of 2% over the last half decade. Whilst Baron Rothschild does tell the investor "buy when there's blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own", buyers would need to examine the data carefully to be comfortable that the business itself is sound. 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. To that end, you should learn about the 4 warning signs we've spotted with PayPoint (including 2 which can't be ignored) .
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB 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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