Despite delivering investors losses of 8.2% over the past 5 years, Paul Hartmann (FRA:PHH2) has been growing its earnings

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 16, 2022
DB:PHH2
Source: Shutterstock

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. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in Paul Hartmann AG (FRA:PHH2), since the last five years saw the share price fall 17%.

The recent uptick of 5.1% could be a positive sign of things to come, so let's take a lot at historical fundamentals.

Check out our latest analysis for Paul Hartmann

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 way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

While the share price declined over five years, Paul Hartmann actually managed to increase EPS by an average of 4.1% per year. So it doesn't seem like EPS is a great guide to understanding how the market is valuing the stock. Or possibly, the market was previously very optimistic, so the stock has disappointed, despite improving EPS.

With EPS gaining and a declining share price, one would suggest the market is cooling on its view of the company. Generally speaking, though, if the company can keep growing EPS then the share price will eventually follow.

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

earnings-per-share-growth
DB:PHH2 Earnings Per Share Growth January 16th 2022

Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Paul Hartmann the TSR over the last 5 years was -8.2%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 16% in the last year, Paul Hartmann shareholders lost 10% (even including dividends). However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 1.6% 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. 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. For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for Paul Hartmann that you should be aware of before investing here.

Of course Paul Hartmann may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.

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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