Seven Group Holdings Limited (ASX:SVW) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 17% in the last quarter. While that's not great, the returns over five years have been decent. After all, the stock has performed better than the market (57%) in that time, and is up 60%.
While this past week has detracted from the company's five-year return, let's look at the recent trends of the underlying business and see if the gains have been in alignment.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
Over half a decade, Seven Group Holdings managed to grow its earnings per share at 61% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 10% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days. The reasonably low P/E ratio of 5.10 also suggests market apprehension.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Seven Group Holdings' 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. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Seven Group Holdings the TSR over the last 5 years was 82%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 4.7% in the last year, Seven Group Holdings shareholders lost 5.6% (even including dividends). 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 13% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Seven Group Holdings better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Seven Group Holdings you should be aware of, and 2 of them shouldn't be ignored.
Seven Group Holdings is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU 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.