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Did Changing Sentiment Drive Resolute Forest Products's (NYSE:RFP) Share Price Down A Painful 75%?

Simply Wall St

Long term investing works well, but it doesn't always work for each individual stock. We don't wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. Spare a thought for those who held Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE:RFP) for five whole years - as the share price tanked 75%. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 63%. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 34% in the last three months.

Check out our latest analysis for Resolute Forest Products

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.

During five years of share price growth, Resolute Forest Products moved from a loss to profitability. Most would consider that to be a good thing, so it's counter-intuitive to see the share price declining. Other metrics might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.

It could be that the revenue decline of 3.8% per year is viewed as evidence that Resolute Forest Products is shrinking. That could explain the weak share price.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

NYSE:RFP Income Statement, October 15th 2019

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. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Resolute Forest Products will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

Investors should note that there's a difference between Resolute Forest Products's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. Resolute Forest Products hasn't been paying dividends, but its TSR of -71% exceeds its share price return of -75%, implying it has either spun-off a business, or raised capital at a discount; thereby providing additional value to shareholders.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 8.3% in the last year, Resolute Forest Products shareholders lost 57%. 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 22% 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. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares - and the price they paid.

Resolute Forest Products is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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.