As an investor its worth striving to ensure your overall portfolio beats the market average. But the risk of stock picking is that you will likely buy under-performing companies. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term Ingredion Incorporated (NYSE:INGR) shareholders, since the share price is down 36% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 54%. The silver lining is that the stock is up 2.7% in about a 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 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).
Ingredion saw its EPS decline at a compound rate of 4.8% per year, over the last three years. The share price decline of 14% is actually steeper than the EPS slippage. So it's likely that the EPS decline has disappointed the market, leaving investors hesitant to buy.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
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. We note that for Ingredion the TSR over the last 3 years was -31%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Ingredion shareholders are down 18% for the year (even including dividends) , but the market itself is up 14%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 2.7% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. If you would like to research Ingredion in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
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.
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.