The past one-year earnings decline for Duratec (ASX:DUR) likely explains shareholders long-term losses

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 10, 2022
ASX:DUR
Source: Shutterstock

It's nice to see the Duratec Limited (ASX:DUR) share price up 14% in a week. But in truth the last year hasn't been good for the share price. In fact the stock is down 27% in the last year, well below the market return.

While the stock has risen 14% in the past week but long term shareholders are still in the red, let's see what the fundamentals can tell us.

See our latest analysis for Duratec

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).

Unfortunately Duratec reported an EPS drop of 76% for the last year. The share price fall of 27% isn't as bad as the reduction in earnings per share. It may have been that the weak EPS was not as bad as some had feared.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
ASX:DUR Earnings Per Share Growth March 10th 2022

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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Duratec's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Duratec's TSR for the last 1 year was -25%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Given that the market gained 9.7% in the last year, Duratec shareholders might be miffed that they lost 25% (even including dividends). However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. With the stock down 2.7% over the last three months, the market doesn't seem to believe that the company has solved all its problems. Basically, most investors should be wary of buying into a poor-performing stock, unless the business itself has clearly improved. 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 4 warning signs for Duratec (of which 2 are a bit unpleasant!) you should know about.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU exchanges.

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