ArcelorMittal (AMS:MT) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 14% in the last month. But over the last three years we’ve seen a quite serious decline. Tragically, the share price declined 53% in that time. So it’s good to see it climbing back up. While many would remain nervous, there could be further gains if the business can put its best foot forward.
ArcelorMittal wasn’t profitable in the last twelve months, it is unlikely we’ll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. That’s because it’s hard to be confident a company will be sustainable if revenue growth is negligible, and it never makes a profit.
In the last three years ArcelorMittal saw its revenue shrink by 0.1% per year. That is not a good result. The share price decline of 15% compound, over three years, is understandable given the company doesn’t have profits to boast of, and revenue is moving in the wrong direction. Of course, it’s the future that will determine whether today’s price is a good one. We don’t generally like to own companies that lose money and can’t grow revenues. But any company is worth looking at when it makes a maiden profit.
The company’s revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
ArcelorMittal is well known by investors, and plenty of clever analysts have tried to predict the future profit levels. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think ArcelorMittal will earn in the future (free analyst consensus estimates)
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
Investors should note that there’s a difference between ArcelorMittal’s total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we’ve covered above. 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. Its history of dividend payouts mean that ArcelorMittal’s TSR, which was a 52% drop over the last 3 years, was not as bad as the share price return.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 9.7% in the twelve months, ArcelorMittal shareholders did even worse, losing 16%. 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 5.4% per year over five years. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We’ve identified 1 warning sign with ArcelorMittal , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on NL exchanges.
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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. 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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