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The simplest way to benefit from a rising market is to buy an index fund. When you buy individual stocks, you can make higher profits, but you also face the risk of under-performance. Investors in Hurco Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:HURC) have tasted that bitter downside in the last year, as the share price dropped 25%. That contrasts poorly with the market return of -0.7%. The silver lining (for longer term investors) is that the stock is still 8.7% higher than it was three years ago. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 19% in the last 90 days.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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.
Even though the Hurco Companies share price is down over the year, its EPS actually improved. It’s quite possible that growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past. The divergence between the EPS and the share price is quite notable, during the year. But we might find some different metrics explain the share price movements better.
Given the yield is quite low, at 1.4%, we doubt the dividend can shed much light on the share price. Hurco Companies managed to grow revenue over the last year, which is usually a real positive. Since the fundamental metrics don’t readily explain the share price drop, there might be an opportunity if the market has overreacted.
Depicted in the graphic below, you’ll see revenue and earnings over time. If you want more detail, you can click on the chart itself.
You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We’ve already covered Hurco Companies’s share price action, but we should also mention its 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. Dividends have been really beneficial for Hurco Companies shareholders, and that cash payout explains why its total shareholder loss of 24%, over the last year, isn’t as bad as the share price return.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 0.7% in the twelve months, Hurco Companies shareholders did even worse, losing 24% (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. Longer term investors wouldn’t be so upset, since they would have made 5.0%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. Before spending more time on Hurco Companies 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 US 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.