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Investors in Coty (NYSE:COTY) have unfortunately lost 56% over the last five years

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Coty Inc. (NYSE:COTY) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 18% in the last month. But don't envy holders -- looking back over 5 years the returns have been really bad. In that time the share price has delivered a rude shock to holders, who find themselves down 61% after a long stretch. So we're not so sure if the recent bounce should be celebrated. Of course, this could be the start of a turnaround.

With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.

See our latest analysis for Coty

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.

Coty became profitable within the last five years. That would generally be considered a positive, so we are surprised to see the share price is down. Other metrics might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.

Arguably, the revenue drop of 15% a year for half a decade suggests that the company can't grow in the long term. That could explain the weak share price.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Coty will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

Investors should note that there's a difference between Coty's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Its history of dividend payouts mean that Coty's TSR, which was a 56% drop over the last 5 years, was not as bad as the share price return.

A Different Perspective

The total return of 18% received by Coty shareholders over the last year isn't far from the market return of -20%. Unfortunately, last year's performance is a deterioration of an already poor long term track record, given the loss of 9% per year over the last five years. It will probably take a substantial improvement in the fundamental performance for the company to reverse this trend. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. To that end, you should learn about the 5 warning signs we've spotted with Coty (including 2 which are a bit concerning) .

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.