The past three years for Aroundtown (ETR:AT1) investors has not been profitable

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 03, 2022
XTRA:AT1
Source: Shutterstock

For many investors, the main point of stock picking is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But the risk of stock picking is that you will likely buy under-performing companies. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term Aroundtown SA (ETR:AT1) shareholders, since the share price is down 28% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 54%. Furthermore, it's down 11% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders.

With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.

View our latest analysis for Aroundtown

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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.

During the three years that the share price fell, Aroundtown's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 40% each year. In comparison the 10% compound annual share price decline isn't as bad as the EPS drop-off. So, despite the prior disappointment, shareholders must have some confidence the situation will improve, longer term.

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

earnings-per-share-growth
XTRA:AT1 Earnings Per Share Growth January 3rd 2022

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..

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Aroundtown, it has a TSR of -21% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

The last twelve months weren't great for Aroundtown shares, which cost holders 10%, including dividends, while the market was up about 17%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. The three-year loss of 6% per year isn't as bad as the last twelve months, suggesting that the company has not been able to convince the market it has solved its problems. Although Baron Rothschild famously said to "buy when there's blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own", he also focusses on high quality stocks with solid prospects. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Aroundtown better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - Aroundtown has 4 warning signs (and 1 which is potentially serious) we think you should know about.

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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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