Inversiones Aguas Metropolitanas' (SNSE:IAM) earnings trajectory could turn positive as the stock surges 11% this past week

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 13, 2022
SNSE:IAM
Source: Shutterstock

Inversiones Aguas Metropolitanas S.A. (SNSE:IAM) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 11% in the last week. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last three years have been less than pleasing. After all, the share price is down 59% in the last three years, significantly under-performing the market.

On a more encouraging note the company has added CL$41b to its market cap in just the last 7 days, so let's see if we can determine what's driven the three-year loss for shareholders.

Check out our latest analysis for Inversiones Aguas Metropolitanas

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.

Inversiones Aguas Metropolitanas saw its EPS decline at a compound rate of 15% per year, over the last three years. The share price decline of 26% is actually steeper than the EPS slippage. So it's likely that the EPS decline has disappointed the market, leaving investors hesitant to buy. This increased caution is also evident in the rather low P/E ratio, which is sitting at 9.91.

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

earnings-per-share-growth
SNSE:IAM Earnings Per Share Growth January 13th 2022

It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Inversiones Aguas Metropolitanas' 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). The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Inversiones Aguas Metropolitanas' TSR for the last 3 years was -47%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 4.5% in the twelve months, Inversiones Aguas Metropolitanas shareholders did even worse, losing 18% (even including dividends). 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. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 6% over the last half decade. 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. 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. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Inversiones Aguas Metropolitanas (2 are potentially serious) that you should be aware of.

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 CL exchanges.

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