Owens & Minor, Inc. (NYSE:OMI) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 21% in the last month. But will that heal all the wounds inflicted over 5 years of declines? Unlikely. In fact, the share price has tumbled down a mountain to land 81% lower after that period. It’s true that the recent bounce could signal the company is turning over a new leaf, but we are not so sure. The real question is whether the business can leave its past behind and improve itself over the years ahead.
We really feel for shareholders in this scenario. It’s a good reminder of the importance of diversification, and it’s worth keeping in mind there’s more to life than money, anyway.
Owens & Minor wasn’t profitable in the last twelve months, it is unlikely we’ll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. That’s because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.
Over five years, Owens & Minor grew its revenue at 0.4% per year. That’s not a very high growth rate considering it doesn’t make profits. Nonetheless, it’s fair to say the rapidly declining share price (down 28%, compound, over five years) suggests the market is very disappointed with this level of growth. While we’re definitely wary of the stock, after that kind of performance, it could be an over-reaction. A company like this generally needs to produce profits before it can find favour with new investors.
The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
Balance sheet strength is crucial. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Owens & Minor the TSR over the last 5 years was -78%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 22% in the last year, Owens & Minor shareholders lost 13% (even including dividends) . 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. However, the loss over the last year isn’t as bad as the 26% per annum loss investors have suffered over the last half decade. We would want clear information suggesting the company will grow, before taking the view that the share price will stabilize. 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 2 warning signs with Owens & Minor (at least 1 which is a bit concerning) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will 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.
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. Thank you for reading.