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Reflecting on Herman Miller's (NASDAQ:MLHR) Share Price Returns Over The Last Year

Simply Wall St
·3 mins read

Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. Active investors aim to buy stocks that vastly outperform the market - but in the process, they risk under-performance. For example, the Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLHR) share price is down 50% in the last year. That's well below the market return of 15%. To make matters worse, the returns over three years have also been really disappointing (the share price is 35% lower than three years ago). Unfortunately the share price momentum is still quite negative, with prices down 14% in thirty days.

Check out our latest analysis for Herman Miller

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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.

Herman Miller fell to a loss making position during the year. While this may prove temporary, we'd consider it a negative, so it doesn't surprise us that the stock price is down. However, there may be an opportunity for investors if the company can recover.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. This free interactive report on Herman Miller's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between Herman Miller's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. 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. Herman Miller's TSR of was a loss of 49% for the year. That wasn't as bad as its share price return, because it has paid dividends.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 15% in the last year, Herman Miller shareholders lost 49%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 2.8% per year over five years. 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. 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. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Herman Miller (1 is a bit concerning) that you should be aware of.

Herman Miller is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.