It's easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. But if you buy individual stocks, you can do both better or worse than that. Unfortunately the P&F Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:PFIN) share price slid 10% over twelve months. That falls noticeably short of the market return of around 3.0%. At least the damage isn't so bad if you look at the last three years, since the stock is down 8.3% in that time. Unhappily, the share price slid 5.0% in the last week.
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
P&F Industries managed to increase earnings per share from a loss to a profit, over the last 12 months. Earnings per share growth rates aren't particularly useful for comparing with the share price, when a company has moved from loss to profit. So it makes sense to check out some other factors.
Revenue was pretty flat on last year, which isn't too bad. But the share price might be lower because the market expected a meaningful improvement, and got none.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
Balance sheet strength is crucial. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, P&F Industries's TSR for the last year was -8.2%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 3.0% in the last year, P&F Industries shareholders lost 8.2% (even including dividends). However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 1.8%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. You might want to assess this data-rich visualization of its earnings, revenue and cash flow.
But note: P&F Industries 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.
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.