The truth is that if you invest for long enough, you're going to end up with some losing stocks. But the long term shareholders of Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHC) have had an unfortunate run in the last three years. Regrettably, they have had to cope with a 52% drop in the share price over that period. The more recent news is of little comfort, with the share price down 26% in a year. Unhappily, the share price slid 3.1% in the last week.
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...' 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.
Acadia Healthcare Company saw its share price decline over the three years in which its EPS also dropped, falling to a loss. This was, in part, due to extraordinary items impacting earnings. 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 graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
This free interactive report on Acadia Healthcare Company's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 8.2% in the last year, Acadia Healthcare Company shareholders lost 26%. 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. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 6.3% 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. You might want to assess this data-rich visualization of its earnings, revenue and cash flow.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
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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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.