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Shareholders in Fresh Del Monte Produce (NYSE:FDP) are in the red if they invested five years ago

The main aim of stock picking is to find the market-beating stocks. But even the best stock picker will only win with some selections. So we wouldn't blame long term Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (NYSE:FDP) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 43% over a half decade.

So let's have a look and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

View our latest analysis for Fresh Del Monte Produce

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 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).

Looking back five years, both Fresh Del Monte Produce's share price and EPS declined; the latter at a rate of 12% per year. This change in EPS is reasonably close to the 11% average annual decrease in the share price. This implies that the market has had a fairly steady view of the stock. So it's fair to say the share price has been responding to changes in EPS.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

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

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Fresh Del Monte Produce's TSR for the last 5 years was -39%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that Fresh Del Monte Produce has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 5.8% in the last twelve months. That's including the dividend. Notably the five-year annualised TSR loss of 7% per year compares very unfavourably with the recent share price performance. The long term loss makes us cautious, but the short term TSR gain certainly hints at a brighter future. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Fresh Del Monte Produce better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Fresh Del Monte Produce , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do 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.

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

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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