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Imagine Owning Intesa Sanpaolo (BIT:ISP) And Wondering If The 28% Share Price Slide Is Justified

Simply Wall St

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For many, the main point of investing is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But every investor is virtually certain to have both over-performing and under-performing stocks. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. (BIT:ISP), since the last five years saw the share price fall 28%. Even worse, it's down 19% in about a month, which isn't fun at all. Importantly, this could be a market reaction to the recently released financial results. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.

View our latest analysis for Intesa Sanpaolo

In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

Intesa Sanpaolo became profitable within the last five years. Most would consider that to be a good thing, so it's counter-intuitive to see the share price declining. Other metrics might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.

The steady dividend doesn't really explain why the share price is down. It's not immediately clear to us why the stock price is down but further research might provide some answers.

You can see how revenue and earnings have changed over time in the image below, (click on the chart to see cashflow).

BIT:ISP Income Statement, June 6th 2019

Intesa Sanpaolo is a well known stock, with plenty of analyst coverage, suggesting some visibility into future growth. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Intesa Sanpaolo's TSR for the last 5 years was -0.9%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Intesa Sanpaolo shareholders are down 18% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 3.0%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 0.2% per year over five years. 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. Before forming an opinion on Intesa Sanpaolo you might want to consider the cold hard cash it pays as a dividend. This free chart tracks its dividend over time.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on IT 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.