Ferratum Oyj (ETR:FRU) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 28% in the last quarter. But that is meagre solace in the face of the shocking decline over three years. Indeed, the share price is down a whopping 78% in the last three years. So it's about time shareholders saw some gains. But the more important question is whether the underlying business can justify a higher price still.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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.
Ferratum Oyj saw its EPS decline at a compound rate of 25% per year, over the last three years. This reduction in EPS is slower than the 39% annual reduction in the share price. So it's likely that the EPS decline has disappointed the market, leaving investors hesitant to buy.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
A Different Perspective
Ferratum Oyj shareholders are down 10% for the year, but the market itself is up 60%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. However, the loss over the last year isn't as bad as the 11% per annum loss investors have suffered over the last half decade. We'd need to see some sustained improvements in the key metrics before we could muster much enthusiasm. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Ferratum Oyj you should be aware of.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on DE exchanges.
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