Did You Manage To Avoid John Wood Group’s (LON:WG.) Painful 50% Share Price Drop?

In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it’s worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in John Wood Group PLC (LON:WG.), since the last five years saw the share price fall 50%. And we doubt long term believers are the only worried holders, since the stock price has declined 50% over the last twelve months. On top of that, the share price has dropped a further 29% in a month. This could be related to the recent financial results – you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report.

View our latest analysis for John Wood Group

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it’s a weighing machine. 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.

John Wood Group became profitable within the last five years. Most would consider that to be a good thing, so it’s counter-intuitive to see the share price declining. Other metrics might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.

We note that the dividend has remained healthy, so that wouldn’t really explain the share price drop. While it’s not completely obvious why the share price is down, a closer look at the company’s history might help explain it.

LSE:WG. Income Statement, August 25th 2019
LSE:WG. Income Statement, August 25th 2019

John Wood Group is well known by investors, and plenty of clever analysts have tried to predict the future profit levels. If you are thinking of buying or selling John Wood Group stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst consensus estimates for future profits.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of John Wood Group, it has a TSR of -40% 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

We regret to report that John Wood Group shareholders are down 47% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that’s worse than the broader market decline of 1.7%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there’s a good opportunity. Unfortunately, last year’s performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 9.8% over the last half decade. We realise that Buffett 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 businesses. Before spending more time on John Wood Group it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.

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 GB 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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.