The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. On the other hand, if you find a high quality business to buy (at the right price) you can more than double your money! For example, the L Brands, Inc. (NYSE:LB) share price has soared 120% return in just a single year. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 32% gain in the last three months. This could be related to the recent financial results, released recently - you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report. Unfortunately the longer term returns are not so good, with the stock falling 18% in the last three years.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.
Over the last twelve months L Brands went from profitable to unprofitable. While this may prove temporary, we'd consider it a negative, so we would not have expected to see the share price up. We might get a clue to explain the share price move by looking to other metrics.
L Brands' revenue actually dropped 10% over last year. So using a snapshot of key business metrics doesn't give us a good picture of why the market is bidding up the stock.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
L Brands is well known by investors, and plenty of clever analysts have tried to predict the future profit levels. You can see what analysts are predicting for L Brands in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We've already covered L Brands' share price action, but we should also mention its total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Dividends have been really beneficial for L Brands shareholders, and that cash payout contributed to why its TSR of 122%, over the last year, is better than the share price return.
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that L Brands has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 122% in the last twelve months. Notably the five-year annualised TSR loss of 8% per year compares very unfavourably with the recent share price performance. This makes us a little wary, but the business might have turned around its fortunes. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Even so, be aware that L Brands is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is concerning...
We will like L Brands better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, 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.
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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. 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.
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