Many investors define successful investing as beating the market average over the long term. But in any portfolio, there are likely to be some stocks that fall short of that benchmark. Unfortunately, that’s been the case for longer term Servizi Italia S.p.A. (BIT:SRI) shareholders, since the share price is down 49% in the last three years, falling well short of the market decline of around 3.2%. Furthermore, it’s down 18% in about a quarter. That’s not much fun for holders.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it’s a weighing machine. 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.
Servizi Italia saw its EPS decline at a compound rate of 16% per year, over the last three years. The share price decline of 20% is actually steeper than the EPS slippage. So it’s likely that the EPS decline has disappointed the market, leaving investors hesitant to buy. This increased caution is also evident in the rather low P/E ratio, which is sitting at 10.90.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
This free interactive report on Servizi Italia’s earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Servizi Italia the TSR over the last 3 years was -42%, 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
We regret to report that Servizi Italia shareholders are down 20% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that’s worse than the broader market decline of 1.7%. 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. Unfortunately, last year’s performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 6.2% over the last half decade. 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. Even so, be aware that Servizi Italia is showing 6 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about…
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 IT exchanges.
If you decide to trade Servizi Italia, use the lowest-cost* platform that is rated #1 Overall by Barron’s, Interactive Brokers. Trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds on 135 markets, all from a single integrated account.
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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org.