Statistically speaking, long term investing is a profitable endeavour. But along the way some stocks are going to perform badly. For example the Patriot Transportation Holding, Inc. (NASDAQ:PATI) share price dropped 68% over five years. That is extremely sub-optimal, to say the least. And some of the more recent buyers are probably worried, too, with the stock falling 54% in the last year. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 30% in the last 90 days. This could be related to the recent financial results - you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
Over five years Patriot Transportation Holding's earnings per share dropped significantly, falling to a loss, with the share price also lower. Since the company has fallen to a loss making position, it's hard to compare the change in EPS with the share price change. 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).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Patriot Transportation Holding's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between Patriot Transportation Holding's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. Patriot Transportation Holding's TSR of was a loss of 62% for the 5 years. That wasn't as bad as its share price return, because it has paid dividends.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Patriot Transportation Holding had a tough year, with a total loss of 45%, against a market gain of about 11%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 17% per year over five years. We realise that Baron Rothschild 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 business. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Patriot Transportation Holding (1 is significant) that you should be aware of.
Patriot Transportation Holding 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.
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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. Thank you for reading.
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