We think intelligent long term investing is the way to go. But unfortunately, some companies simply don't succeed. Zooming in on an example, the Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE:RLGY) share price dropped 70% in the last half decade. That's not a lot of fun for true believers. And it's not just long term holders hurting, because the stock is down 51% in the last year. Furthermore, it's down 24% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders.
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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.
Looking back five years, both Realogy Holdings's share price and EPS declined; the latter at a rate of 18% per year. Notably, the share price has fallen at 22% per year, fairly close to the change in the EPS. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time. Rather, the share price change has reflected changes in earnings per share.
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..
A Different Perspective
Investors in Realogy Holdings had a tough year, with a total loss of 50% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 9.9%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 21% over the last half decade. 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. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Realogy Holdings by clicking this link.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.