We’re definitely into long term investing, but some companies are simply bad investments over any time frame. We don’t wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. Spare a thought for those who held SpaceandPeople plc (LON:SAL) for five whole years – as the share price tanked 91%. And some of the more recent buyers are probably worried, too, with the stock falling 67% in the last year. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 60% in the last 90 days. However, one could argue that the price has been influenced by the general market, which is down 32% in the same timeframe.
While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn’t as important as health and happiness.
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 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).
Over five years SpaceandPeople’s earnings per share dropped significantly, falling to a loss, with the share price also lower. At present it’s hard to make valid comparisons between EPS and the share price. But we would generally expect a lower price, given the situation.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We’re pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. It’s always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
Investors should note that there’s a difference between SpaceandPeople’s total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we’ve covered above. Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. SpaceandPeople’s TSR of was a loss of 90% for the 5 years. That wasn’t as bad as its share price return, because it has paid dividends.
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that SpaceandPeople shareholders are down 66% for the year. Unfortunately, that’s worse than the broader market decline of 23%. 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 37% per year over five years. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should “buy when there is blood on the streets”, but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. 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. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we’ve spotted 3 warning signs for SpaceandPeople (of which 2 are concerning!) you should know about.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB 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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