SKY Network Television Limited (NZSE:SKT) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 10% in the last month. But don't envy holders -- looking back over 5 years the returns have been really bad. The share price has failed to impress anyone , down a sizable 92% during that time. So we're hesitant to put much weight behind the short term increase. Of course, this could be the start of a turnaround. While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn't as important as health and happiness.
It's worthwhile assessing if the company's economics have been moving in lockstep with these underwhelming shareholder returns, or if there is some disparity between the two. So let's do just that.
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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 five years of share price growth, SKY Network Television moved from a loss to profitability. That would generally be considered a positive, so we are surprised to see the share price is down. Other metrics might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.
It could be that the revenue decline of 5.5% per year is viewed as evidence that SKY Network Television is shrinking. This has probably encouraged some shareholders to sell down the stock.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts
What About The Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
Investors should note that there's a difference between SKY Network Television's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. Dividends have been really beneficial for SKY Network Television shareholders, and that cash payout explains why its total shareholder loss of 66%, over the last 5 years, isn't as bad as the share price return.
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that SKY Network Television has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 59% in the last twelve months. There's no doubt those recent returns are much better than the TSR loss of 11% per year over five years. The long term loss makes us cautious, but the short term TSR gain certainly hints at a brighter future. 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. For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for SKY Network Television that you should be aware of.
SKY Network Television is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on NZ 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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