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Easy Come, Easy Go: How Genworth Financial (NYSE:GNW) Shareholders Got Unlucky And Saw 79% Of Their Cash Evaporate

Simply Wall St

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It's nice to see the Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE:GNW) share price up 20% in a week. But spare a thought for the long term holders, who have held the stock as it bled value over the last five years. In fact, the share price has tumbled down a mountain to land 79% lower after that period. So we don't gain too much confidence from the recent recovery. The important question is if the business itself justifies a higher share price in the long term.

See our latest analysis for Genworth Financial

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 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, Genworth Financial moved from a loss to profitability. That would generally be considered a positive, so we are surprised to see the share price is down. Other metrics may better explain the share price move.

The revenue fall of 1.5% per year for five years is neither good nor terrible. But it's quite possible the market had expected better; a closer look at the revenue trends might explain the pessimism.

The chart below shows how revenue and earnings have changed with time, (if you click on the chart you can see the actual values).

NYSE:GNW Income Statement, June 24th 2019

It is of course excellent to see how Genworth Financial has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. This free interactive report on Genworth Financial's balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

A Different Perspective

Genworth Financial shareholders are down 19% for the year, but the market itself is up 6.6%. 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. However, the loss over the last year isn't as bad as the 27% per annum loss investors have suffered over the last half decade. We'd need to see some sustained improvements in the key metrics before we could muster much enthusiasm. Is Genworth Financial cheap compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

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 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.