Generally speaking long term investing is the way to go. But unfortunately, some companies simply don't succeed. For example the GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) share price dropped 77% over five years. That is extremely sub-optimal, to say the least. And it's not just long term holders hurting, because the stock is down 34% in the last year. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 42% in the last three months. This could be related to the recent financial results - you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
In the last half decade GameStop saw its share price fall as its EPS declined below zero. This was, in part, due to extraordinary items impacting earnings. At present it's hard to make valid comparisons between EPS and the share price. But we would generally expect a lower price, given the situation.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on GameStop's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of GameStop, it has a TSR of -69% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 8.2% in the last year, GameStop shareholders lost 26% (even including dividends). 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. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 21% over the last half decade. 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. Keeping this in mind, a solid next step might be to take a look at GameStop's dividend track record. This free interactive graph is a great place to start.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.