The simplest way to benefit from a rising market is to buy an index fund. Active investors aim to buy stocks that vastly outperform the market - but in the process, they risk under-performance. For example, the Ardagh Metal Packaging S.A. (NYSE:AMBP) share price is down 18% in the last year. That's disappointing when you consider the market declined 0.5%. Ardagh Metal Packaging may have better days ahead, of course; we've only looked at a one year period.
It's worthwhile assessing if the company's economics have been moving in lockstep with these underwhelming shareholder returns, or if there is some disparity between the two. So let's do just that.
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 last year Ardagh Metal Packaging saw its earnings per share drop below zero. Buyers no doubt think it's a temporary situation, but those with a nose for quality have low tolerance for losses. However, there may be an opportunity for investors if the company can recover.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Ardagh Metal Packaging's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
Given that the market gained 0.5% in the last year, Ardagh Metal Packaging shareholders might be miffed that they lost 18%. While the aim is to do better than that, it's worth recalling that even great long-term investments sometimes underperform for a year or more. With the stock down 7.7% over the last three months, the market doesn't seem to believe that the company has solved all its problems. Given the relatively short history of this stock, we'd remain pretty wary until we see some strong business performance. You might want to assess this data-rich visualization of its earnings, revenue and cash flow.
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.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.