If you are building a properly diversified stock portfolio, the chances are some of your picks will perform badly. Long term Criteo S.A. (NASDAQ:CRTO) shareholders know that all too well, since the share price is down considerably over three years. Unfortunately, they have held through a 70% decline in the share price in that time. The more recent news is of little comfort, with the share price down 35% in a year. The silver lining is that the stock is up 4.4% in about a week.
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...' 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.
During the unfortunate three years of share price decline, Criteo actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 5.5% per year. Given the share price reaction, one might suspect that EPS is not a good guide to the business performance during the period (perhaps due to a one-off loss or gain). Or else the company was over-hyped in the past, and so its growth has disappointed.
It's worth taking a look at other metrics, because the EPS growth doesn't seem to match with the falling share price.
The company has kept revenue pretty healthy over the last three years, so we doubt that explains the falling share price. There doesn't seem to be any clear correlation between the fundamental business metrics and the share price. That could mean that the stock was previously overrated, or it could spell opportunity now.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
Criteo is a well known stock, with plenty of analyst coverage, suggesting some visibility into future growth. You can see what analysts are predicting for Criteo in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Criteo had a tough year, with a total loss of 35%, against a market gain of about 17%. 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 11% 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. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US 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.
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