Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. But if you buy individual stocks, you can do both better or worse than that. Unfortunately the MJ Gleeson plc (LON:GLE) share price slid 34% over twelve months. That's disappointing when you consider the market declined 0.8%. To make matters worse, the returns over three years have also been really disappointing (the share price is 33% lower than three years ago). Furthermore, it's down 13% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders.
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.
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 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).
During the unfortunate twelve months during which the MJ Gleeson share price fell, it actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 249%. It's quite possible that growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.
The divergence between the EPS and the share price is quite notable, during the year. So it's easy to justify a look at some other metrics.
MJ Gleeson's revenue is actually up 73% over the last year. Since we can't easily explain the share price movement based on these metrics, it might be worth considering how market sentiment has changed towards the stock.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. If you are thinking of buying or selling MJ Gleeson stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.
A Different Perspective
MJ Gleeson shareholders are down 33% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 0.8%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 1.4% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for MJ Gleeson you should be aware of.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do 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.