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It is doubtless a positive to see that the Ark Restaurants Corp. (NASDAQ:ARKR) share price has gained some 90% in the last three months. But that doesn't help the fact that the three year return is less impressive. Truth be told the share price declined 25% in three years and that return, Dear Reader, falls short of what you could have got from passive investing with an index fund.
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 flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
Ark Restaurants saw its share price decline over the three years in which its EPS also dropped, falling to a loss. Since the company has fallen to a loss making position, it's hard to compare the change in EPS with the share price change. However, we can say we'd expect to see a falling share price in this scenario.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Ark Restaurants' earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We've already covered Ark Restaurants' share price action, but we should also mention its total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. Dividends have been really beneficial for Ark Restaurants shareholders, and that cash payout explains why its total shareholder loss of 18%, over the last 3 years, isn't as bad as the share price return.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Ark Restaurants had a tough year, with a total loss of 15%, against a market gain of about 26%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 2% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Case in point: We've spotted 4 warning signs for Ark Restaurants you should be aware of, and 2 of them don't sit too well with us.
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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