Volatility 101: Should Allergan (NYSE:AGN) Shares Have Dropped 34%?

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As an investor its worth striving to ensure your overall portfolio beats the market average. But its virtually certain that sometimes you will buy stocks that fall short of the market average returns. We regret to report that long term Allergan plc (NYSE:AGN) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 34% in three years, versus a market return of about 53%.

View our latest analysis for Allergan

Given that Allergan didn’t make a profit in the last twelve months, we’ll focus on revenue growth to form a quick view of its business development. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. That’s because it’s hard to be confident a company will be sustainable if revenue growth is negligible, and it never makes a profit.

Over three years, Allergan grew revenue at 6.6% per year. That’s not a very high growth rate considering it doesn’t make profits. The stock dropped 13% during that time. Shareholders will probably be hoping growth picks up soon. But the real upside for shareholders will be if the company can start generating profits.

The graphic below shows how revenue and earnings have changed as management guided the business forward. If you want to see cashflow, you can click on the chart.

NYSE:AGN Income Statement, May 7th 2019
NYSE:AGN Income Statement, May 7th 2019

It’s good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That’s a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. If you are thinking of buying or selling Allergan stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Allergan the TSR over the last 3 years was -32%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Allergan provided a TSR of 4.6% over the last twelve months. But that was short of the market average. On the bright side, that’s still a gain, and it is certainly better than the yearly loss of about 5.9% endured over half a decade. So this might be a sign the business has turned its fortunes around. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares – and the price they paid.

Allergan is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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.