While Kape Technologies PLC (LON:KAPE) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 24% in the last quarter. But over five years returns have been remarkably great. Indeed, the share price is up a whopping 332% in that time. So we don't think the recent decline in the share price means its story is a sad one. But the real question is whether the business fundamentals can improve over the long term.
Since the long term performance has been good but there's been a recent pullback of 7.8%, let's check if the fundamentals match the share price.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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 last half decade, Kape Technologies became profitable. Sometimes, the start of profitability is a major inflection point that can signal fast earnings growth to come, which in turn justifies very strong share price gains. Given that the company made a profit three years ago, but not five years ago, it is worth looking at the share price returns over the last three years, too. Indeed, the Kape Technologies share price has gained 218% in three years. During the same period, EPS grew by 62% each year. This EPS growth is higher than the 47% average annual increase in the share price over the same three years. Therefore, it seems the market has moderated its expectations for growth, somewhat.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that Kape Technologies has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
Investors should note that there's a difference between Kape Technologies' total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. We note that Kape Technologies' TSR, at 345% is higher than its share price return of 332%. When you consider it hasn't been paying a dividend, this data suggests shareholders have benefitted from a spin-off, or had the opportunity to acquire attractively priced shares in a discounted capital raising.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 4.8% in the twelve months, Kape Technologies shareholders did even worse, losing 8.9%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 35%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. 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. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Kape Technologies (1 is significant) that you should be aware of.
We will like Kape Technologies better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB 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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