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Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. But if you buy individual stocks, you can do both better or worse than that. Investors in Minerals Technologies Inc. (NYSE:MTX) have tasted that bitter downside in the last year, as the share price dropped 30%. That falls noticeably short of the market return of around 8.5%. However, the longer term returns haven’t been so bad, with the stock down 6.0% in the last three years. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 14% in the last three months.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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.
Unhappily, Minerals Technologies had to report a 16% decline in EPS over the last year. The share price decline of 30% is actually more than the EPS drop. This suggests the EPS fall has made some shareholders are more nervous about the business. The P/E ratio of 11.19 also points to the negative market sentiment.
This free interactive report on Minerals Technologies’s earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
A Different Perspective
Minerals Technologies shareholders are down 30% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 8.5%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year’s performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 3.4% 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. 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.
Of course Minerals Technologies may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.
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.