Long term investing works well, but it doesn't always work for each individual stock. We really hate to see fellow investors lose their hard-earned money. Anyone who held Lannett Company, Inc. (NYSE:LCI) for five years would be nursing their metaphorical wounds since the share price dropped 77% in that time. And it's not just long term holders hurting, because the stock is down 54% in the last year. Unhappily, the share price slid 4.4% in the last week.
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 five years Lannett Company's earnings per share dropped significantly, falling to a loss, with the share price also lower. The recent extraordinary items contributed to this situation. At present it's hard to make valid comparisons between EPS and the share price. But we would generally expect a lower price, given the situation.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 9.1% in the last year, Lannett Company shareholders lost 54%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 25% 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. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares - and the price they paid.
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.
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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.