Ellington Financial Inc. (NYSE:EFC) shareholders will doubtless be very grateful to see the share price up 90% in the last week. But over the last half decade, the stock has not performed well. In fact, the share price is down 51%, which falls well short of the return you could get by buying an index fund.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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).
Ellington Financial became profitable within the last five years. Most would consider that to be a good thing, so it's counter-intuitive to see the share price declining. Other metrics may better explain the share price move.
We note that the dividend has fallen in the last five years, so that may have contributed to the share price decline.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We know that Ellington Financial has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? If you are thinking of buying or selling Ellington Financial stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Ellington Financial, it has a TSR of -13% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that Ellington Financial shareholders are down 39% for the year (even including dividends) . Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 4.0%. 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. 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. 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. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Ellington Financial better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should learn about the 4 warning signs we've spotted with Ellington Financial (including 1 which is shouldn't be ignored) .
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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