Long term investing is the way to go, but that doesn’t mean you should hold every stock forever. It hits us in the gut when we see fellow investors suffer a loss. Anyone who held Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation (NASDAQ:BGFV) for five years would be nursing their metaphorical wounds since the share price dropped 80% in that time. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 62%. On top of that, the share price has dropped a further 19% in a month.
While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn’t as important as health and happiness.
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
Over five years Big 5 Sporting Goods’s earnings per share dropped significantly, falling to a loss, with the share price also lower. At present it’s hard to make valid comparisons between EPS and the share price. However, we can say we’d expect to see a falling share price in this scenario.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
This free interactive report on Big 5 Sporting Goods’s earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Big 5 Sporting Goods’s TSR for the last 5 years was -75%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Big 5 Sporting Goods had a tough year, with a total loss of 59% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 9.9%. 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. Regrettably, last year’s performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 24% per year over five years. 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. Before spending more time on Big 5 Sporting Goods it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.
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.
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.