Stock Analysis

Bell Food Group (VTX:BELL) sheds CHF50m, company earnings and investor returns have been trending downwards for past five years

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SWX:BELL
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For many, the main point of investing is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But even the best stock picker will only win with some selections. So we wouldn't blame long term Bell Food Group AG (VTX:BELL) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 35% over a half decade.

Given the past week has been tough on shareholders, let's investigate the fundamentals and see what we can learn.

Check out our latest analysis for Bell Food Group

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 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.

Looking back five years, both Bell Food Group's share price and EPS declined; the latter at a rate of 5.3% per year. Readers should note that the share price has fallen faster than the EPS, at a rate of 8% per year, over the period. So it seems the market was too confident about the business, in the past.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
SWX:BELL Earnings Per Share Growth March 14th 2023

We know that Bell Food Group has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Bell Food Group the TSR over the last 5 years was -17%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

While it's never nice to take a loss, Bell Food Group shareholders can take comfort that , including dividends,their trailing twelve month loss of 3.1% wasn't as bad as the market loss of around 6.7%. Of far more concern is the 3% p.a. loss served to shareholders over the last five years. This sort of share price action isn't particularly encouraging, but at least the losses are slowing. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Bell Food Group better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Bell Food Group that you should be aware of before investing here.

If you are like me, then you will 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 CH exchanges.

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