If You Had Bought Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) Stock Three Years Ago, You’d Be Sitting On A 39% Loss, Today

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. We regret to report that long term The Star Entertainment Group Limited (ASX:SGR) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 39% in three years, versus a market return of about 34%. And more recent buyers are having a tough time too, with a drop of 27% in the last year. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 15% in the last 90 days.

See our latest analysis for Star Entertainment Group

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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).

Although the share price is down over three years, Star Entertainment Group actually managed to grow EPS by 23% per year in that time. This is quite a puzzle, and suggests there might be something temporarily buoying the share price. Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past. Since the change in EPS doesn’t seem to correlate with the change in share price, it’s worth taking a look at other metrics.

Given the healthiness of the dividend payments, we doubt that they’ve concerned the market. We like that Star Entertainment Group has actually grown its revenue over the last three years. But it’s not clear to us why the share price is down. It might be worth diving deeper into the fundamentals, lest an opportunity goes begging.

ASX:SGR Income Statement, August 10th 2019
ASX:SGR Income Statement, August 10th 2019

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Star Entertainment Group will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Star Entertainment Group’s TSR for the last 3 years was -32%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Star Entertainment Group shareholders are down 23% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 8.9%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 6.1% 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. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares – and the price they paid.

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 AU 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.