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Investors Who Bought Prime Financial Group (ASX:PFG) Shares Three Years Ago Are Now Down 38%

Simply Wall St

As an investor its worth striving to ensure your overall portfolio beats the market average. But in any portfolio, there are likely to be some stocks that fall short of that benchmark. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term Prime Financial Group Limited (ASX:PFG) shareholders, since the share price is down 38% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 37%. Unhappily, the share price slid 2.5% in the last week.

View our latest analysis for Prime Financial Group

To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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 five years of share price growth, Prime Financial Group moved from a loss to profitability. We would usually expect to see the share price rise as a result. So it's worth looking at other metrics to try to understand the share price move.

We note that the dividend has declined - a likely contributor to the share price drop. It doesn't seem like the changes in revenue would have impacted the share price much, but a closer inspection of the data might reveal something.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

ASX:PFG Income Statement, January 15th 2020

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Prime Financial Group's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. In the case of Prime Financial Group, it has a TSR of -26% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 25% in the last year, Prime Financial Group shareholders lost 11% (even including dividends) . However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 1.5% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Prime Financial Group better, we need to consider many other factors. Be aware that Prime Financial Group is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is a bit concerning...

Prime Financial Group is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU exchanges.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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.

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. Thank you for reading.