Ocean Bio-Chem, Inc. (NASDAQ:OBCI) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 17% in the last month. But over the last half decade, the stock has not performed well. You would have done a lot better buying an index fund, since the stock has dropped 13% in that half decade.
To quote Buffett, ‘Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace…’ 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.
While the share price declined over five years, Ocean Bio-Chem actually managed to increase EPS by an average of 6.6% per year. So it doesn’t seem like EPS is a great guide to understanding how the market is valuing the stock. Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.
It is unusual to see such modest share price growth in the face of sustained EPS improvements. We can look to other metrics to try to understand the situation better.
The modest 1.3% dividend yield is unlikely to be guiding the market view of the stock. In contrast to the share price, revenue has actually increased by 5.3% a year in the five year period. So it seems one might have to take closer look at the fundamentals to understand why the share price languishes. After all, there may be an opportunity.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We’re pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
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. We note that for Ocean Bio-Chem the TSR over the last 5 years was -7.3%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Ocean Bio-Chem provided a TSR of 4.8% over the last twelve months. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. But at least that’s still a gain! Over five years the TSR has been a reduction of 1.5% per year, over five years. It could well be that the business is stabilizing. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We’ve identified 1 warning sign with Ocean Bio-Chem , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
If you would prefer to check out another company — one with potentially superior financials — then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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