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For many investors, the main point of stock picking is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But in any portfolio, there are likely to be some stocks that fall short of that benchmark. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term IDOX plc (LON:IDOX) shareholders, since the share price is down 45% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 28%.
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.
Over the three years that the share price declined, IDOX's earnings per share (EPS) dropped significantly, falling to a loss. Extraordinary items contributed to this situation. Since the company has fallen to a loss making position, it's hard to compare the change in EPS with the share price change. However, we can say we'd expect to see a falling share price in this scenario.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
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. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
A Dividend Lost
The value of past dividends are accounted for in the total shareholder return (TSR), but not in the share price return mentioned above. In some ways, TSR is a better measure of how well an investment has performed. Over the last 3 years, IDOX generated a TSR of -43%, which is, of course, better than the share price return. Even though the company isn't paying dividends at the moment, it has done in the past.
A Different Perspective
IDOX shareholders gained a total return of 0.6% during the year. But that was short of the market average. But at least that's still a gain! Over five years the TSR has been a reduction of 2.4% per year, over five years. It could well be that the business is stabilizing. 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 IDOX by clicking this link.
IDOX 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 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.