Stock Analysis

Earnings are growing at L.D.C (EPA:LOUP) but shareholders still don't like its prospects

  •  Updated
ENXTPA:LOUP
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Many investors define successful investing as beating the market average over the long term. But the risk of stock picking is that you will likely buy under-performing companies. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term L.D.C. S.A. (EPA:LOUP) shareholders, since the share price is down 17% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 13%.

Since L.D.C has shed €63m from its value in the past 7 days, let's see if the longer term decline has been driven by the business' economics.

Before we look at the performance, you might like to know that our analysis indicates that LOUP is potentially undervalued!

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

During the unfortunate three years of share price decline, L.D.C actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 2.7% per year. This is quite a puzzle, and suggests there might be something temporarily buoying the share price. Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.

After considering the numbers, we'd posit that the the market had higher expectations of EPS growth, three years back. However, taking a look at other business metrics might shed a bit more light on the share price action.

We note that, in three years, revenue has actually grown at a 5.6% annual rate, so that doesn't seem to be a reason to sell shares. This analysis is just perfunctory, but it might be worth researching L.D.C more closely, as sometimes stocks fall unfairly. This could present an opportunity.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
ENXTPA:LOUP Earnings and Revenue Growth September 25th 2022

We know that L.D.C has improved its bottom line lately, but what does the future have in store? This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on L.D.C

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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of L.D.C, it has a TSR of -13% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

While it's never nice to take a loss, L.D.C shareholders can take comfort that , including dividends,their trailing twelve month loss of 6.0% wasn't as bad as the market loss of around 12%. Given the total loss of 2% per year over five years, it seems returns have deteriorated in the last twelve months. While some investors do well specializing in buying companies that are struggling (but nonetheless undervalued), don't forget that Buffett said that 'turnarounds seldom turn'. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand L.D.C better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for L.D.C that you should be aware of before investing here.

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 FR exchanges.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether L.D.C is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

View the Free Analysis

About ENXTPA:LOUP

L.D.C

L.D.C. S.A. produces and sells poultry and processed products in France and internationally.

The Snowflake is a visual investment summary with the score of each axis being calculated by 6 checks in 5 areas.

Analysis AreaScore (0-6)
Valuation6
Future Growth2
Past Performance5
Financial Health5
Dividends3

Read more about these checks in the individual report sections or in our analysis model.

Very undervalued with solid track record.