Koninklijke KPN N.V. (AMS:KPN) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 13% in the last month. But over the last half decade, the stock has not performed well. You would have done a lot better buying an index fund, since the stock has dropped 28% in that half decade.
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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.
During the unfortunate half decade during which the share price slipped, Koninklijke KPN actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 55% per year. So it doesn't seem like EPS is a great guide to understanding how the market is valuing the stock. Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.
Due to the lack of correlation between the EPS growth and the falling share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics to try to understand the share price movement.
The steady dividend doesn't really explain why the share price is down. However, revenue has declined at a compound annual rate of 6.9% per year. With revenue weak, and increased payouts of cash, the market might be taking the view that its best days are behind it.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts
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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Koninklijke KPN the TSR over the last 5 years was -0.7%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 7.5% in the twelve months, Koninklijke KPN shareholders did even worse, losing 12% (even including dividends). Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 0.1% 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. 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. Take risks, for example - Koninklijke KPN has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit concerning) we think you should know about.
Koninklijke KPN is not the only stock that insiders are buying. 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 NL exchanges.
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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. 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.
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