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Investors in Ituran Location and Control (NASDAQ:ITRN) have unfortunately lost 11% over the last five years

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Ideally, your overall portfolio should beat the market average. But every investor is virtually certain to have both over-performing and under-performing stocks. So we wouldn't blame long term Ituran Location and Control Ltd. (NASDAQ:ITRN) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 23% over a half decade.

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 Ituran Location and Control

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. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

Looking back five years, both Ituran Location and Control's share price and EPS declined; the latter at a rate of 1.4% per year. This reduction in EPS is less than the 5% annual reduction in the share price. This implies that the market was previously too optimistic about the stock.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We know that Ituran Location and Control has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? Check if analysts think Ituran Location and Control will grow revenue in the future.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Ituran Location and Control's TSR for the last 5 years was -11%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

While it's never nice to take a loss, Ituran Location and Control shareholders can take comfort that , including dividends,their trailing twelve month loss of 6.7% wasn't as bad as the market loss of around 16%. Given the total loss of 2% per year over five years, it seems returns have deteriorated in the last twelve months. Whilst Baron Rothschild does tell the investor "buy when there's blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own", buyers would need to examine the data carefully to be comfortable that the business itself is sound. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Ituran Location and Control , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

We will like Ituran Location and Control 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 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.

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