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If You Had Bought Daktronics (NASDAQ:DAKT) Stock Five Years Ago, You'd Be Sitting On A 48% Loss, Today

Simply Wall St

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In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it's worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. So we wouldn't blame long term Daktronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:DAKT) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 48% over a half decade. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 28%. Furthermore, it's down 19% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.

View our latest analysis for Daktronics

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

Over five years Daktronics's earnings per share dropped significantly, falling to a loss, with the share price also lower. 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 image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

NasdaqGS:DAKT Past and Future Earnings, June 18th 2019

We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. This free interactive report on Daktronics's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

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 incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Daktronics's TSR for the last 5 years was -38%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Daktronics shareholders are down 25% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 3.4%. 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 9.2% 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. Importantly, we haven't analysed Daktronics's dividend history. This free visual report on its dividends is a must-read if you're thinking of buying.

We will like Daktronics better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

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.