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How Much Did Stagecoach Group's(LON:SGC) Shareholders Earn From Share Price Movements Over The Last Five Years?

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Simply Wall St
·4 min read
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Long term investing is the way to go, but that doesn't mean you should hold every stock forever. We don't wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. For example, we sympathize with anyone who was caught holding Stagecoach Group plc (LON:SGC) during the five years that saw its share price drop a whopping 87%. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 64%. Furthermore, it's down 38% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.

We really feel for shareholders in this scenario. It's a good reminder of the importance of diversification, and it's worth keeping in mind there's more to life than money, anyway.

See our latest analysis for Stagecoach Group

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.

During the five years over which the share price declined, Stagecoach Group's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 23% each year. This reduction in EPS is less than the 34% annual reduction in the share price. This implies that the market is more cautious about the business these days. The less favorable sentiment is reflected in its current P/E ratio of 6.80.

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

Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

Investors should note that there's a difference between Stagecoach Group'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. Dividends have been really beneficial for Stagecoach Group shareholders, and that cash payout explains why its total shareholder loss of 84%, over the last 5 years, isn't as bad as the share price return.

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Stagecoach Group shareholders are down 63% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 6.3%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 13% over the last half decade. We realise that Baron Rothschild 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 business. 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. Take risks, for example - Stagecoach Group has 4 warning signs (and 1 which is potentially serious) we think you should know about.

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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

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. 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.

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