Such Is Life: How PICO Holdings (NASDAQ:PICO) Shareholders Saw Their Shares Drop 52%

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For many, the main point of investing is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. So we wouldn’t blame long term PICO Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PICO) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 52% over a half decade. Unhappily, the share price slid 3.7% in the last week.

See our latest analysis for PICO Holdings

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company’s share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

During five years of share price growth, PICO Holdings moved from a loss to profitability. 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.

It could be that the revenue decline of 54% per year is viewed as evidence that PICO Holdings is shrinking. This has probably encouraged some shareholders to sell down the stock.

You can see how revenue and earnings have changed over time in the image below, (click on the chart to see cashflow).

NasdaqGS:PICO Income Statement, June 19th 2019
NasdaqGS:PICO Income Statement, June 19th 2019

Balance sheet strength is crucual. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

Investors should note that there’s a difference between PICO Holdings’s total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we’ve covered above. 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. We note that PICO Holdings’s TSR, at -34% is higher than its share price return of -52%. When you consider it hasn’t been paying a dividend, this data suggests shareholders have benefitted from a spin-off, or had the opportunity to acquire attractively priced shares in a discounted capital raising.

A Different Perspective

Investors in PICO Holdings had a tough year, with a total loss of 0.9%, against a market gain of about 4.6%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. However, the loss over the last year isn’t as bad as the 7.9% per annum loss investors have suffered over the last half decade. We would want clear information suggesting the company will grow, before taking the view that the share price will stabilize. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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 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.