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AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE:AKS) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 12% in the last month. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last half decade have been stomach churning. In fact, the share price has tumbled down a mountain to land 74% lower after that period. It's true that the recent bounce could signal the company is turning over a new leaf, but we are not so sure. The fundamental business performance will ultimately determine if the turnaround can be sustained.
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 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).
AK Steel Holding 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.
Revenue is actually up 0.8% over the time period. A more detailed examination of the revenue and earnings may or may not explain why the share price languishes; there could be an opportunity.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
It is of course excellent to see how AK Steel Holding has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. This free interactive report on AK Steel Holding's balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 6.4% in the last year, AK Steel Holding shareholders lost 52%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 24% 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. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
Of course AK Steel Holding may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US 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.