If you are building a properly diversified stock portfolio, the chances are some of your picks will perform badly. But long term Lokesh Machines Limited (NSE:LOKESHMACH) shareholders have had a particularly rough ride in the last three year. Regrettably, they have had to cope with a 51% drop in the share price over that period. And more recent buyers are having a tough time too, with a drop of 21% in the last year.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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).
During the unfortunate three years of share price decline, Lokesh Machines actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 16% per year. This is quite a puzzle, and suggests there might be something temporarily buoying the share price. Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.
Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.
Revenue is actually up 14% over the three years, so the share price drop doesn't seem to hinge on revenue, either. It's probably worth investigating Lokesh Machines further; while we may be missing something on this analysis, there might also be an opportunity.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
A Different Perspective
Lokesh Machines shareholders are down 21% for the year, but the market itself is up 6.4%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 3.4% per year over five years. We realise that Buffett 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 businesses. Before deciding if you like the current share price, check how Lokesh Machines scores on these 3 valuation metrics.
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 IN exchanges.
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