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In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it’s worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But the risk of stock picking is that you will likely buy under-performing companies. Unfortunately, that’s been the case for longer term P&F Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:PFIN) shareholders, since the share price is down 12% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 48%.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it’s a weighing machine. 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).
P&F Industries became profitable within the last five years. That would generally be considered a positive, so we are surprised to see the share price is down. So given the share price is down it’s worth checking some other metrics too.
We note that, in three years, revenue has actually grown at a 3.6% annual rate, so that doesn’t seem to be a reason to sell shares. It’s probably worht worth investigating P&F Industries further; while we may be missing something on this analysis, there might also be an opportunity.
You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
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 incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, P&F Industries’s TSR for the last 3 years was -5.6%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Investors in P&F Industries had a tough year, with a total loss of 1.6% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 7.1%. 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. Longer term investors wouldn’t be so upset, since they would have made 3.3%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. Before deciding if you like the current share price, check how P&F Industries scores on these 3 valuation metrics.
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 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.