Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. Active investors aim to buy stocks that vastly outperform the market - but in the process, they risk under-performance. Investors in Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE:SIX) have tasted that bitter downside in the last year, as the share price dropped 16%. That falls noticeably short of the market return of around 14%. Taking the longer term view, the stock fell 16% over the last three years. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 14% in the last 90 days. 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.
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.
Unhappily, Six Flags Entertainment had to report a 8.6% decline in EPS over the last year. This reduction in EPS is not as bad as the 16% share price fall. This suggests the EPS fall has made some shareholders are more nervous about the business.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Six Flags Entertainment's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
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. In the case of Six Flags Entertainment, it has a TSR of -11% for the last year. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Six Flags Entertainment shareholders are down 11% for the year (even including dividends) , but the market itself is up 14%. 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 7.2%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Six Flags Entertainment by clicking this link.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are 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 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. Thank you for reading.