Statistically speaking, long term investing is a profitable endeavour. But no-one is immune from buying too high. Zooming in on an example, the TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP) share price dropped 56% in the last half decade. That's an unpleasant experience for long term holders. Furthermore, it's down 15% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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.
TripAdvisor 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 might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.
Revenue is actually up 5.7% over the time period. A more detailed examination of the revenue and earnings may or may not explain why the share price languishes; there could be an opportunity.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. If you are thinking of buying or selling TripAdvisor stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 11% in the last year, TripAdvisor shareholders lost 17%. 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 15% per year over five years. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. 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 would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US 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 email@example.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.