Investors can buy low cost index fund if they want to receive the average market return. But in any diversified portfolio of stocks, you'll see some that fall short of the average. For example, the Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (NYSE:ATI) share price return of 38% over three years lags the market return in the same period. Unfortunately, the share price has fallen 11% over twelve months.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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.
Allegheny Technologies became profitable within the last three years. That would generally be considered a positive, so we'd expect the share price to be up.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. This free interactive report on Allegheny Technologies's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We've already covered Allegheny Technologies's share price action, but we should also mention its total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Its history of dividend payouts mean that Allegheny Technologies's TSR of 38% over the last 3 years is better than the share price return.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Allegheny Technologies had a tough year, with a total loss of 11%, against a market gain of about 16%. 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 6.4% per year over five years. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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.
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