Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. Active investors aim to buy stocks that vastly outperform the market - but in the process, they risk under-performance. For example, the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC (LON:ERM) share price is down 46% in the last year. That's well below the market decline of 12%. To make matters worse, the returns over three years have also been really disappointing (the share price is 39% lower than three years ago). Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 37% in the last 90 days. But this could be related to the weak market, which is down 20% in the same period.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.
Unfortunately Euromoney Institutional Investor reported an EPS drop of 70% for the last year. The share price fall of 46% isn't as bad as the reduction in earnings per share. It may have been that the weak EPS was not as bad as some had feared.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We've already covered Euromoney Institutional Investor's share price action, but we should also mention its total shareholder return (TSR). Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. Euromoney Institutional Investor's TSR of was a loss of 45% for the year. That wasn't as bad as its share price return, because it has paid dividends.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 12% in the twelve months, Euromoney Institutional Investor shareholders did even worse, losing 45%. 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. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 7.1% per year over five years. We realise that Baron Rothschild 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 business. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with Euromoney Institutional Investor , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
We will like Euromoney Institutional Investor better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB exchanges.
Love or hate this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email 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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.