U.S. Markets close in 1 hr 55 mins

Such Is Life: How 3P Learning (ASX:3PL) Shareholders Saw Their Shares Drop 62%

Simply Wall St

Generally speaking long term investing is the way to go. But that doesn't mean long term investors can avoid big losses. To wit, the 3P Learning Limited (ASX:3PL) share price managed to fall 62% over five long years. We certainly feel for shareholders who bought near the top. And we doubt long term believers are the only worried holders, since the stock price has declined 21% over the last twelve months. Unhappily, the share price slid 2.6% in the last week.

Check out our latest analysis for 3P Learning

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 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.

3P Learning became profitable within the last five years. Most would consider that to be a good thing, so it's counter-intuitive to see the share price declining. Other metrics may better explain the share price move.

Revenue is actually up 6.9% over the time period. So it seems one might have to take closer look at the fundamentals to understand why the share price languishes. After all, there may be an opportunity.

You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

ASX:3PL Income Statement, October 23rd 2019

We know that 3P Learning has improved its bottom line lately, but what does the future have in store? This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on 3P Learning

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 19% in the last year, 3P Learning shareholders lost 21%. 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 17% per year over five years. We realise that Buffett has said investors should 'buy when there is blood on the streets', but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality businesses. 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.

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 AU 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 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. Thank you for reading.