Thanks in no small measure to Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, it's easy buy a low cost index fund, which should provide the average market return. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. Notably, the Myers Industries, Inc. (NYSE:MYE) share price has gained 41% in three years, which is better than the average market return. In contrast, the stock is actually down 23% in the last year, suggesting a lack of positive momentum.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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).
During the three years of share price growth, Myers Industries actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) drop 12% per year. In this instance, recent extraordinary items impacted the earnings. Thus, it seems unlikely that the market is focussed on EPS growth at the moment. Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.
The revenue drop of 0.8% is as underwhelming as some politicians. What's clear is that historic earnings and revenue aren't matching up with the share price action, very well. So you might have to dig deeper to get a grasp of the situation
The chart below shows how revenue and earnings have changed with time, (if you click on the chart you can see the actual values).
Take a more thorough look at Myers Industries's financial health with this free report on its balance sheet.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Myers Industries the TSR over the last 3 years was 54%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Myers Industries shareholders are down 21% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 9.5%. 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. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 2.6% over the last half decade. 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. 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 Myers Industries 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.