The main aim of stock picking is to find the market-beating stocks. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. So we wouldn’t blame long term Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFM) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 39% over a half decade. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 11% in the last three months.
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 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 unfortunate half decade during which the share price slipped, Sprouts Farmers Market actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 26% per year. So it doesn’t seem like EPS is a great guide to understanding how the market is valuing the stock. Or possibly, the market was previously very optimistic, so the stock has disappointed, despite improving EPS. 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.
In contrast to the share price, revenue has actually increased by 15% a year in the five year period. A more detailed examination of the revenue and earnings may or may not explain why the share price languishes; there could be an opportunity.
You can see how revenue and earnings have changed over time in the image below, (click on the chart to see cashflow).
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. You can see what analysts are predicting for Sprouts Farmers Market in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Sprouts Farmers Market had a tough year, with a total loss of 11%, against a market gain of about 11%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year’s performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 9.3% per year over five years. We realise that Buffett has said investors should ‘buy when there is blood on the streets’, but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality businesses. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Sprouts Farmers Market by clicking this link.
Sprouts Farmers Market 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 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 email@example.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.