It is doubtless a positive to see that the Michael Hill International Limited (ASX:MHJ) share price has gained some 64% in the last three months. But that cannot eclipse the less-than-impressive returns over the last three years. After all, the share price is down 55% in the last three years, significantly under-performing the market.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
During the three years that the share price fell, Michael Hill International's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 59% each year. This fall in the EPS is worse than the 23% compound annual share price fall. This suggests that the market retains some optimism around long term earnings stability, despite past EPS declines. This positive sentiment is also reflected in the generous P/E ratio of 66.56.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
Investors should note that there's a difference between Michael Hill International's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. Dividends have been really beneficial for Michael Hill International shareholders, and that cash payout explains why its total shareholder loss of 48%, over the last 3 years, isn't as bad as the share price return.
A Different Perspective
The last twelve months weren't great for Michael Hill International shares, which cost holders 20%, while the market was up about 2.2%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. The three-year loss of 14% per year isn't as bad as the last twelve months, suggesting that the company has not been able to convince the market it has solved its problems. Although Baron Rothschild famously said to "buy when there's blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own", he also focusses on high quality stocks with solid prospects. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Michael Hill International better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should be aware of the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Michael Hill International .
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU exchanges.
If you’re looking to trade Michael Hill International, open an account with the lowest-cost* platform trusted by professionals, Interactive Brokers. Their clients from over 200 countries and territories trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account. Promoted
Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.
Find out whether Michael Hill International is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.View the Free Analysis
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.