Did Changing Sentiment Drive Aegon’s (AMS:AGN) Share Price Down By 32%?

Ideally, your overall portfolio should beat the market average. But every investor is virtually certain to have both over-performing and under-performing stocks. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in Aegon N.V. (AMS:AGN), since the last five years saw the share price fall 32%. And some of the more recent buyers are probably worried, too, with the stock falling 29% in the last year. On top of that, the share price has dropped a further 15% in a month.

Check out our latest analysis for Aegon

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 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 five years of share price growth, Aegon 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.

We note that the dividend has remained healthy, so that wouldn’t really explain the share price drop. While it’s not completely obvious why the share price is down, a closer look at the company’s history might help explain it.

ENXTAM:AGN Income Statement, August 9th 2019
ENXTAM:AGN Income Statement, August 9th 2019

Aegon is a well known stock, with plenty of analyst coverage, suggesting some visibility into future growth. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Aegon’s TSR for the last 5 years was -12%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Aegon shareholders are down 25% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that’s worse than the broader market decline of 1.1%. 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 2.5% per year over five years. We realise that Buffett has said investors should ‘buy when there is blood on the streets’, but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality businesses. Before forming an opinion on Aegon you might want to consider the cold hard cash it pays as a dividend. This free chart tracks its dividend over time.

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 NL exchanges.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.