As an investor, mistakes are inevitable. But you have a problem if you face massive losses more than once in a while. So spare a thought for the long term shareholders of Mistras Group, Inc. (NYSE:MG); the share price is down a whopping 80% in the last three years. That would be a disturbing experience. And the ride hasn't got any smoother in recent times over the last year, with the price 74% lower in that time. More recently, the share price has dropped a further 8.4% in a month.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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).
Over the three years that the share price declined, Mistras Group's earnings per share (EPS) dropped significantly, 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. But it's safe to say we'd generally expect the share price to be lower as a result!
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. This free interactive report on Mistras Group's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Mistras Group had a tough year, with a total loss of 74%, against a market gain of about 15%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 11% 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Mistras Group (at least 1 which is potentially serious) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
Mistras Group 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.
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