The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE:SMG) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 22% in the last month. But that's small comfort given the dismal price performance over the last year. During that time the share price has sank like a stone, descending 60%. It's not that amazing to see a bounce after a drop like that. You could argue that the sell-off was too severe.
Now let's have a look at the company's fundamentals, and see if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
During the last year Scotts Miracle-Gro saw its earnings per share drop below zero. While this may prove temporary, we'd consider it a negative, so it doesn't surprise us that the stock price is down. Of course, if the company can turn the situation around, investors will likely profit.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
Dive deeper into Scotts Miracle-Gro's key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Scotts Miracle-Gro's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 14% in the twelve months, Scotts Miracle-Gro shareholders did even worse, losing 58% (even including dividends). 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. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 6% per year over five years. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should "buy when there is blood on the streets", but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. 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 example, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Scotts Miracle-Gro (2 make us uncomfortable!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US 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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