It’s not possible to invest over long periods without making some bad investments. But really bad investments should be rare. So take a moment to sympathize with the long term shareholders of Reading International, Inc. (NASDAQ:RDI), who have seen the share price tank a massive 78% over a three year period. That’d be enough to cause even the strongest minds some disquiet. The more recent news is of little comfort, with the share price down 77% in a year. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 67% in the last three months.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
Over the three years that the share price declined, Reading International’s earnings per share (EPS) dropped significantly, falling to a loss. Extraordinary items contributed to this situation. Since the company has fallen to a loss making position, it’s hard to compare the change in EPS with the share price change. However, we can say we’d expect to see a falling share price in this scenario.
The company’s earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
Dive deeper into Reading International’s key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Reading International’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
Reading International shareholders are down 77% for the year, but the market itself is up 4.8%. 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. Regrettably, last year’s performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 24% 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. 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. For instance, we’ve identified 3 warning signs for Reading International (1 is potentially serious) that you should be aware of.
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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