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Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. But if you buy individual stocks, you can do both better or worse than that. That downside risk was realized by The Pebble Group plc (LON:PEBB) shareholders over the last year, as the share price declined 37%. That falls noticeably short of the market decline of around 2.0%. Because Pebble Group hasn't been listed for many years, the market is still learning about how the business performs. Furthermore, it's down 21% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders.
Now let's have a look at the company's fundamentals, and see if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.
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 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 unfortunate twelve months during which the Pebble Group share price fell, it actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 80%. It's quite possible that growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.
The divergence between the EPS and the share price is quite notable, during the year. So it's easy to justify a look at some other metrics.
Pebble Group's revenue is actually up 40% over the last year. Since we can't easily explain the share price movement based on these metrics, it might be worth considering how market sentiment has changed towards the stock.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We know that Pebble Group has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? Take a more thorough look at Pebble Group's financial health with this free report on its balance sheet.
A Different Perspective
We doubt Pebble Group shareholders are happy with the loss of 37% over twelve months. That falls short of the market, which lost 2.0%. There's no doubt that's a disappointment, but the stock may well have fared better in a stronger market. With the stock down 21% over the last three months, the market doesn't seem to believe that the company has solved all its problems. Basically, most investors should be wary of buying into a poor-performing stock, unless the business itself has clearly improved. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Pebble Group 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.
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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