While not a mind-blowing move, it is good to see that the Criteo S.A. (NASDAQ:CRTO) share price has gained 13% in the last three months. But if you look at the last five years the returns have not been good. After all, the share price is down 35% in that time, significantly under-performing the market.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
While the share price declined over five years, Criteo actually managed to increase EPS by an average of 115% 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. Because of the sharp contrast between the EPS growth rate and the share price growth, we’re inclined to look to other metrics to understand the changing market sentiment around the stock.
In contrast to the share price, revenue has actually increased by 25% 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.
Depicted in the graphic below, you’ll see revenue and earnings over time. If you want more detail, you can click on the chart itself.
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. If you are thinking of buying or selling Criteo stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.
A Different Perspective
Criteo shareholders are down 9.9% for the year, but the market itself is up 5.6%. 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 8.3% over the last half decade. 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 Criteo by clicking this link.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).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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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.