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If You Had Bought Hikma Pharmaceuticals (LON:HIK) Stock Three Years Ago, You'd Be Sitting On A 30% 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 are likely to be some stocks that fall short of that benchmark. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC (LON:HIK) shareholders, since the share price is down 30% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 27%.

Check out our latest analysis for Hikma Pharmaceuticals

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 flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals became profitable within the last five years. That would generally be considered a positive, so we are surprised to see the share price is down. So given the share price is down it's worth checking some other metrics too.

The modest 1.7% dividend yield is unlikely to be guiding the market view of the stock. We note that, in three years, revenue has actually grown at a 10% annual rate, so that doesn't seem to be a reason to sell shares. It's probably worht worth investigating Hikma Pharmaceuticals further; while we may be missing something on this analysis, there might also be an opportunity.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

LSE:HIK Income Statement, July 18th 2019

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. You can see what analysts are predicting for Hikma Pharmaceuticals in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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, Hikma Pharmaceuticals's TSR for the last 3 years was -27%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that Hikma Pharmaceuticals shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 24% over one year. That's including the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 1.5% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals is not the only stock that insiders are buying. 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 GB 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.