Prestige Consumer Healthcare Inc. (NYSE:PBH) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 13% in the last quarter. But that cannot eclipse the less-than-impressive returns over the last three years. After all, the share price is down 25% in the last three years, significantly under-performing the market.
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).
Over the three years that the share price declined, Prestige Consumer Healthcare's earnings per share (EPS) dropped significantly, falling to a loss. Extraordinary items contributed to this situation. Due to the loss, it's not easy to use EPS as a reliable guide to the business. But it's safe to say we'd generally expect the share price to be lower as a result!
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
Dive deeper into Prestige Consumer Healthcare's key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Prestige Consumer Healthcare's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
Prestige Consumer Healthcare shareholders are down 3.7% for the year, but the market itself is up 18%. 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 1.5%, 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. You could get a better understanding of Prestige Consumer Healthcare's growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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