For many investors, the main point of stock picking is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But in any portfolio, there are likely to be some stocks that fall short of that benchmark. We regret to report that long term Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ:APOG) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 43% in three years, versus a market return of about 50%. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 16% in the last 90 days. This could be related to the recent financial results – you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
Apogee Enterprises saw its EPS decline at a compound rate of 21% per year, over the last three years. This fall in the EPS is worse than the 17% compound annual share price fall. So the market may not be too worried about the EPS figure, at the moment — or it may have previously priced some of the drop in.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
Dive deeper into Apogee Enterprises’s key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Apogee Enterprises’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.
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 incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Apogee Enterprises, it has a TSR of -40% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 21% in the last year, Apogee Enterprises shareholders lost 4.1% (even including dividends) . However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, longer term shareholders are suffering worse, given the loss of 4.9% doled out over the last five years. We’d need to see some sustained improvements in the key metrics before we could muster much enthusiasm. 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. For example, we’ve discovered 2 warning signs for Apogee Enterprises that you should be aware of before investing here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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