Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE:LEE) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 13% in the last month. But that cannot eclipse the less-than-impressive returns over the last three years. After all, the share price is down 45% in the last three years, significantly under-performing the market.
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.
During the three years that the share price fell, Lee Enterprises's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 28% each year. This fall in the EPS is worse than the 18% compound annual share price fall. So, despite the prior disappointment, shareholders must have some confidence the situation will improve, longer term.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Lee Enterprises's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Lee Enterprises had a tough year, with a total loss of 27%, against a market gain of about 1.2%. 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 10% 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. If you would like to research Lee Enterprises in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
We will like Lee Enterprises 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.
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