In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it's worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But even the best stock picker will only win with some selections. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in Holders Technology plc (LON:HDT), since the last five years saw the share price fall 34%. It's up 3.9% in the last seven days.
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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 imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
Holders Technology became profitable within the last five years. That would generally be considered a positive, so we are surprised to see the share price is down. Other metrics might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.
It could be that the revenue decline of 3.8% per year is viewed as evidence that Holders Technology is shrinking. This has probably encouraged some shareholders to sell down the stock.
The graphic below shows how revenue and earnings have changed as management guided the business forward. If you want to see cashflow, you can click on the chart.
It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Holders Technology's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Holders Technology's TSR for the last 5 years was -28%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that Holders Technology shareholders are down 6.3% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 2.1%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 6.3% over the last half decade. 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. Is Holders Technology cheap compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.