It hasn't been the best quarter for RF Industries, Ltd. (NASDAQ:RFIL) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 29% in that time. But that doesn't undermine the rather lovely longer-term return, if you measure over the last three years. The share price marched upwards over that time, and is now 230% higher than it was. To some, the recent share price pullback wouldn't be surprising after such a good run. The thing to consider is whether the underlying business is doing well enough to support the current price.
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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.
RF Industries became profitable within the last three years. Given the importance of this milestone, it's not overly surprising that the share price has increased strongly.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
This free interactive report on RF Industries'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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for RF Industries the TSR over the last 3 years was 256%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Investors in RF Industries had a tough year, with a total loss of 20% (including dividends) , against a market gain of about 20%. 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. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 11% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. Before forming an opinion on RF Industries you might want to consider these 3 valuation metrics.
Of course RF Industries may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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