The five-year shareholder returns and company earnings persist lower as HNI (NYSE:HNI) stock falls a further 5.5% in past week

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 11, 2022
NYSE:HNI
Source: Shutterstock

Ideally, your overall portfolio should beat the market average. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in HNI Corporation (NYSE:HNI), since the last five years saw the share price fall 23%. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 16% in the last three months.

After losing 5.5% this past week, it's worth investigating the company's fundamentals to see what we can infer from past performance.

View our latest analysis for HNI

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just 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.

During the five years over which the share price declined, HNI's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 6.0% each year. This fall in the EPS is worse than the 5% compound annual share price fall. The relatively muted share price reaction might be because the market expects the business to turn around.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-per-share-growth
NYSE:HNI Earnings Per Share Growth April 11th 2022

We know that HNI has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, HNI's TSR for the last 5 years was -8.6%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

Investors in HNI had a tough year, with a total loss of 10% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 2.0%. 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. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 1.7% over the last half decade. 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. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand HNI better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for HNI you should be aware of.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

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