In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it’s worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But the main game is to find enough winners to more than offset the losers So we wouldn’t blame long term PICO Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PICO) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 37% over a half decade. There was little comfort for shareholders in the last week as the price declined a further 2.8%.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it’s a weighing machine. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
PICO Holdings became profitable within the last five years. That would generally be considered a positive, so we are surprised to see the share price is down. Other metrics might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.
It could be that the revenue decline of 56% per year is viewed as evidence that PICO Holdings is shrinking. This has probably encouraged some shareholders to sell down the stock.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
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. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on PICO Holdings’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We’ve already covered PICO Holdings’s share price action, but we should also mention its 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. PICO Holdings hasn’t been paying dividends, but its TSR of -13% exceeds its share price return of -37%, implying it has either spun-off a business, or raised capital at a discount; thereby providing additional value to shareholders.
A Different Perspective
PICO Holdings shareholders are down 3.8% for the year, but the market itself is up 22%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year’s performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 2.7% per year over five years. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of PICO Holdings by clicking this link.
PICO Holdings is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
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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