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Should Alleghany (NYSE:Y) Be Disappointed With Their 34% Profit?

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Simply Wall St
·3 min read
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The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Better yet, you'd like to see the share price move up more than the market average. But Alleghany Corporation (NYSE:Y) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 34% over five years, which is below the market return. Zooming in, the stock is actually down 20% in the last year.

Check out our latest analysis for Alleghany

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. 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.

During five years of share price growth, Alleghany actually saw its EPS drop 22% per year.

This means it's unlikely the market is judging the company based on earnings growth. Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.

On the other hand, Alleghany's revenue is growing nicely, at a compound rate of 11% over the last five years. It's quite possible that management are prioritizing revenue growth over EPS growth at the moment.

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

If you are thinking of buying or selling Alleghany stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between Alleghany's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. We note that Alleghany's TSR, at 39% is higher than its share price return of 34%. When you consider it hasn't been paying a dividend, this data suggests shareholders have benefitted from a spin-off, or had the opportunity to acquire attractively priced shares in a discounted capital raising.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 35% in the last year, Alleghany shareholders lost 18%. 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. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 7%, each year, over five years. 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. 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. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Alleghany you should know about.

But note: Alleghany may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

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.

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