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Even the best stock pickers will make plenty of bad investments. And unfortunately for Camping World Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CWH) shareholders, the stock is a lot lower today than it was a year ago. In that relatively short period, the share price has plunged 52%. Because Camping World Holdings hasn't been listed for many years, the market is still learning about how the business performs. Furthermore, it's down 21% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
During the last year Camping World Holdings saw its earnings per share drop below zero. While this may prove temporary, we'd consider it a negative, so it doesn't surprise us that the stock price is down. We hope for shareholders' sake that the company becomes profitable again soon.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Camping World Holdings's TSR for the last year was -50%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
While Camping World Holdings shareholders are down 50% for the year (even including dividends), the market itself is up 6.6%. While the aim is to do better than that, it's worth recalling that even great long-term investments sometimes underperform for a year or more. The share price decline has continued throughout the most recent three months, down 21%, suggesting an absence of enthusiasm from investors. Basically, most investors should be wary of buying into a poor-performing stock, unless the business itself has clearly improved. 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.
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.