Investors can approximate the average market return by buying an index fund. Active investors aim to buy stocks that vastly outperform the market – but in the process, they risk under-performance. For example, the Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. (NASDAQ:BECN) share price is down 38% in the last year. That’s well bellow the market return of 3.0%. At least the damage isn’t so bad if you look at the last three years, since the stock is down 16% in that time. Unhappily, the share price slid 1.4% in the last week.
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. 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.
Beacon Roofing Supply fell to a loss making position during the year. Buyers no doubt think it’s a temporary situation, but those with a nose for quality have low tolerance for losses. Of course, if the company can turn the situation around, investors will likely profit.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Beacon Roofing Supply’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 3.0% in the last year, Beacon Roofing Supply shareholders lost 38%. 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 2.8% 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. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.
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.