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If You Had Bought Topps Tiles (LON:TPT) Stock Three Years Ago, You'd Be Sitting On A 47% Loss, Today

Simply Wall St

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While it may not be enough for some shareholders, we think it is good to see the Topps Tiles Plc (LON:TPT) share price up 23% in a single quarter. But that cannot eclipse the less-than-impressive returns over the last three years. Truth be told the share price declined 47% in three years and that return, Dear Reader, falls short of what you could have got from passive investing with an index fund.

View our latest analysis for Topps Tiles

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 way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

During the three years that the share price fell, Topps Tiles's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 9.6% each year. The share price decline of 19% is actually steeper than the EPS slippage. So it seems the market was too confident about the business, in the past.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

LSE:TPT Past and Future Earnings, April 4th 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. This free interactive report on Topps Tiles's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Topps Tiles the TSR over the last 3 years was -40%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that Topps Tiles has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 17% in the last twelve months. And that does include the dividend. That certainly beats the loss of about 6.1% per year over the last half decade. This makes us a little wary, but the business might have turned around its fortunes. 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 Topps Tiles by clicking this link.

Topps Tiles 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.