Generally speaking long term investing is the way to go. But that doesn’t mean long term investors can avoid big losses. For example the Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) share price dropped 61% over five years. That’s not a lot of fun for true believers. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 25%. Even worse, it’s down 9.4% in about a month, which isn’t fun at all. This could be related to the recent financial results – you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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.
During the unfortunate half decade during which the share price slipped, Barclays actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 41% per year. So it doesn’t seem like EPS is a great guide to understanding how the market is valuing the stock. Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.
Because of the sharp contrast between the EPS growth rate and the share price growth, we’re inclined to look to other metrics to understand the changing market sentiment around the stock.
The revenue fall of 0.6% per year for five years is neither good nor terrible. But it’s quite possible the market had expected better; a closer look at the revenue trends might explain the pessimism.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Barclays
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
Investors should note that there’s a difference between Barclays’ 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. Barclays’ TSR of was a loss of 56% for the 5 years. That wasn’t as bad as its share price return, because it has paid dividends.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 7.9% in the twelve months, Barclays shareholders did even worse, losing 25%. 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 9.4% 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. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Barclays better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we’ve identified 3 warning signs for Barclays that you should be aware of.
Barclays 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 GB exchanges.
When trading Barclays or any other investment, use the platform considered by many to be the Professional’s Gateway to the Worlds Market, Interactive Brokers. You get the lowest-cost* trading on stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account.
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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email email@example.com.