The simplest way to benefit from a rising market is to buy an index fund. While individual stocks can be big winners, plenty more fail to generate satisfactory returns. Investors in SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (TSE:SNC) have tasted that bitter downside in the last year, as the share price dropped 35%. That’s disappointing when you consider the market returned 4.9%. At least the damage isn’t so bad if you look at the last three years, since the stock is down 21% in that time. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 25% in the last three months. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.
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.
During the last year SNC-Lavalin Group saw its earnings per share drop below zero. While this may prove temporary, we’d consider it a negative, so it doesn’t surprise us that the stock price is down. We hope for shareholders’ sake that the company becomes profitable again soon.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on SNC-Lavalin Group’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We’ve already covered SNC-Lavalin Group’s share price action, but we should also mention its total shareholder return (TSR). 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. SNC-Lavalin Group’s TSR of was a loss of 33% for the year. That wasn’t as bad as its share price return, because it has paid dividends.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 4.9% in the last year, SNC-Lavalin Group shareholders lost 33% (even including dividends). 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 3.5% per year over five years. We realise that Buffett 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 businesses. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares – and the price they paid.
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 CA exchanges.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
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. Thank you for reading.