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Those Who Purchased Criteo (NASDAQ:CRTO) Shares Three Years Ago Have A 47% Loss To Show For It

Simply Wall St

For many investors, the main point of stock picking is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But its virtually certain that sometimes you will buy stocks that fall short of the market average returns. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term Criteo S.A. (NASDAQ:CRTO) shareholders, since the share price is down 47% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 47%. And over the last year the share price fell 22%, so we doubt many shareholders are delighted. Unfortunately the share price momentum is still quite negative, with prices down 18% in thirty days.

View our latest analysis for Criteo

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect 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 the unfortunate three years of share price decline, Criteo actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 11% per year. This is quite a puzzle, and suggests there might be something temporarily buoying the share price. Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past. Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.

We note that, in three years, revenue has actually grown at a 19% annual rate, so that doesn't seem to be a reason to sell shares. This analysis is just perfunctory, but it might be worth researching Criteo more closely, as sometimes stocks fall unfairly. This could present an opportunity.

The graphic below shows how revenue and earnings have changed as management guided the business forward. If you want to see cashflow, you can click on the chart.

NasdaqGS:CRTO Income Statement, April 18th 2019

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 8.2% in the last year, Criteo shareholders lost 22%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 10% per year over five years. We realise that Buffett 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 businesses. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Criteo by clicking this link.

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.