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8.4% earnings growth over 1 year has not materialized into gains for Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:BK) shareholders over that period

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It's easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. While individual stocks can be big winners, plenty more fail to generate satisfactory returns. For example, the The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE:BK) share price is down 13% in the last year. That contrasts poorly with the market decline of 5.1%. Taking the longer term view, the stock fell 13% over the last three years. In the last ninety days we've seen the share price slide 26%. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.

Given the past week has been tough on shareholders, let's investigate the fundamentals and see what we can learn.

View our latest analysis for Bank of New York Mellon

In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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.

Even though the Bank of New York Mellon share price is down over the year, its EPS actually improved. It's quite possible that growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.

It's fair to say that the share price does not seem to be reflecting the EPS growth. So it's easy to justify a look at some other metrics.

Bank of New York Mellon managed to grow revenue over the last year, which is usually a real positive. Since we can't easily explain the share price movement based on these metrics, it might be worth considering how market sentiment has changed towards the stock.

You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Bank of New York Mellon is well known by investors, and plenty of clever analysts have tried to predict the future profit levels. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus 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. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Bank of New York Mellon the TSR over the last 1 year was -11%, 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

While the broader market lost about 5.1% in the twelve months, Bank of New York Mellon shareholders did even worse, losing 11% (even including dividends). Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 0.7% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for Bank of New York Mellon you should be aware of.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.