It's easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. While individual stocks can be big winners, plenty more fail to generate satisfactory returns. That downside risk was realized by The Ramco Cements Limited (NSE:RAMCOCEM) shareholders over the last year, as the share price declined 28%. That's disappointing when you consider the market returned 18%. The silver lining (for longer term investors) is that the stock is still 2.4% higher than it was three years ago. Furthermore, it's down 27% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders.
Although the past week has been more reassuring for shareholders, they're still in the red over the last year, so let's see if the underlying business has been responsible for the decline.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.
Even though the Ramco Cements share price is down over the year, its EPS actually improved. It could be that the share price was previously over-hyped.
The divergence between the EPS and the share price is quite notable, during the year. So it's easy to justify a look at some other metrics.
Given the yield is quite low, at 0.4%, we doubt the dividend can shed much light on the share price. Ramco Cements' revenue is actually up 17% over the last year. Since we can't easily explain the share price movement based on these metrics, it might be worth considering how market sentiment has changed towards the stock.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We know that Ramco Cements 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 Ramco Cements
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 18% in the last year, Ramco Cements shareholders lost 28% (even including dividends). 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. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 2% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Even so, be aware that Ramco Cements is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about...
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on IN exchanges.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.