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If You Had Bought Ituran Location and Control's (NASDAQ:ITRN) Shares Three Years Ago You Would Be Down 48%

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Simply Wall St
·3 min read
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While not a mind-blowing move, it is good to see that the Ituran Location and Control Ltd. (NASDAQ:ITRN) share price has gained 29% in the last three months. But that cannot eclipse the less-than-impressive returns over the last three years. After all, the share price is down 48% in the last three years, significantly under-performing the market.

Check out our latest analysis for Ituran Location and Control

To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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.

Ituran Location and Control saw its share price decline over the three years in which its EPS also dropped, falling to a loss. This was, in part, due to extraordinary items impacting earnings. Since the company has fallen to a loss making position, it's hard to compare the change in EPS with the share price change. But it's safe to say we'd generally expect the share price to be lower as a result!

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

Investors should note that there's a difference between Ituran Location and Control's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. Dividends have been really beneficial for Ituran Location and Control shareholders, and that cash payout explains why its total shareholder loss of 43%, over the last 3 years, isn't as bad as the share price return.

A Different Perspective

Ituran Location and Control shareholders are down 26% for the year, but the market itself is up 22%. 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. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 4%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Ituran Location and Control (at least 1 which shouldn't be ignored) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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.

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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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