Ideally, your overall portfolio should beat the market average. But even the best stock picker will only win with some selections. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in Axway Software SA (EPA:AXW), since the last five years saw the share price fall 49%. And we doubt long term believers are the only worried holders, since the stock price has declined 38% over the last twelve months. Even worse, it’s down 11% in about a month, which isn’t fun at all.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
Looking back five years, both Axway Software’s share price and EPS declined; the latter at a rate of 22% per year. This fall in the EPS is worse than the 13% compound annual share price fall. So investors might expect EPS to bounce back — or they may have previously foreseen the EPS decline.
The company’s earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We know that Axway Software has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? This free report showing analyst revenue forecasts should help you figure out if the EPS growth can be sustained.
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. In the case of Axway Software, it has a TSR of -45% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Axway Software shareholders are down 38% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 6.6%. 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. Regrettably, last year’s performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 11% per year over five years. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. Before deciding if you like the current share price, check how Axway Software scores on these 3 valuation metrics.
Of course Axway Software 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 FR exchanges.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.