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It's easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. Active investors aim to buy stocks that vastly outperform the market - but in the process, they risk under-performance. Unfortunately the Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN) share price slid 30% over twelve months. That falls noticeably short of the market return of around 24%. However, the longer term returns haven't been so bad, with the stock down 20% in the last three years. Unhappily, the share price slid 1.5% in the last week.
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
During the unfortunate twelve months during which the Tyson Foods share price fell, it actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 5.8%. Of course, the situation might betray previous over-optimism about growth.
The divergence between the EPS and the share price is quite notable, during the year. So it's easy to justify a look at some other metrics.
Revenue was fairly steady year on year, which isn't usually such a bad thing. However, it is certainly possible the market was expecting an uptick in revenue, and that the share price fall reflects that disappointment.
The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
Tyson Foods is a well known stock, with plenty of analyst coverage, suggesting some visibility into future growth. Given we have quite a good number of analyst forecasts, it might be well worth checking out this free chart depicting consensus estimates.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 24% in the last year, Tyson Foods shareholders lost 28% (even including dividends). 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 6% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Tyson Foods better, we need to consider many other factors. Even so, be aware that Tyson Foods is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
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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