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Shareholders in Del Taco Restaurants (NASDAQ:TACO) are in the red if they invested five years ago

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For many, the main point of investing is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But even the best stock picker will only win with some selections. So we wouldn't blame long term Del Taco Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ:TACO) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 26% over a half decade.

It's worthwhile assessing if the company's economics have been moving in lockstep with these underwhelming shareholder returns, or if there is some disparity between the two. So let's do just that.

See our latest analysis for Del Taco Restaurants

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.

During five years of share price growth, Del Taco Restaurants moved from a loss to profitability. Most would consider that to be a good thing, so it's counter-intuitive to see the share price declining. Other metrics may better explain the share price move.

We don't think that the 1.8% is big factor in the share price, since it's quite small, as dividends go. In contrast to the share price, revenue has actually increased by 2.8% a year in the five year period. A more detailed examination of the revenue and earnings may or may not explain why the share price languishes; there could be an opportunity.

You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

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. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Del Taco Restaurants

A Different Perspective

Investors in Del Taco Restaurants had a tough year, with a total loss of 2.9% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 28%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. However, the loss over the last year isn't as bad as the 5% per annum loss investors have suffered over the last half decade. We would want clear information suggesting the company will grow, before taking the view that the share price will stabilize. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Del Taco Restaurants better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Del Taco Restaurants that you should be aware of.

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.

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.

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