It hasn't been the best quarter for PHX Energy Services Corp. (TSE:PHX) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 21% in that time. But over the last three years the stock has shone bright like a diamond. The longer term view reveals that the share price is up 348% in that period. So you might argue that the recent reduction in the share price is unremarkable in light of the longer term performance. The only way to form a view of whether the current price is justified is to consider the merits of the business itself.
Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine 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 imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
PHX Energy Services became profitable within the last three years. That kind of transition can be an inflection point that justifies a strong share price gain, just as we have seen here.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, PHX Energy Services' TSR for the last 3 years was 411%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
PHX Energy Services shareholders are down 3.0% over twelve months (even including dividends), which isn't far from the market return of -2.9%. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 27%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data remains strong, and the share price is simply down on sentiment, then this could be an opportunity worth investigating. 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 - PHX Energy Services has 3 warning signs (and 1 which doesn't sit too well with us) we think you should know about.
PHX Energy Services is not the only stock that insiders are buying. 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 Canadian exchanges.
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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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