U.S. Markets open in 3 hrs 35 mins

Such Is Life: How K+S (ETR:SDF) Shareholders Saw Their Shares Drop 52%

Simply Wall St

For many, the main point of investing is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But the main game is to find enough winners to more than offset the losers At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in K+S Aktiengesellschaft (ETR:SDF), since the last five years saw the share price fall 52%. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 30%. Furthermore, it's down 19% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders.

See our latest analysis for K+S

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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 five years over which the share price declined, K+S's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 19% each year. This fall in the EPS is worse than the 14% compound annual share price fall. The relatively muted share price reaction might be because the market expects the business to turn around.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

XTRA:SDF Past and Future Earnings, December 21st 2019

We know that K+S has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? This free report showing analyst revenue forecasts should help you figure out if the EPS growth can be sustained.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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, K+S's TSR for the last 5 years was -46%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 23% in the last year, K+S shareholders lost 29% (even including dividends) . However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 11% 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. Before deciding if you like the current share price, check how K+S scores on these 3 valuation metrics.

We will like K+S 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 DE 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.