In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it's worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But if you try your hand at stock picking, your risk returning less than the market. We regret to report that long term B.O.S. Better Online Solutions Ltd. (NASDAQ:BOSC) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 24% in three years, versus a market return of about 39%. Unhappily, the share price slid 3.3% 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. 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.
B.O.S. Better Online Solutions saw its EPS decline at a compound rate of 1.3% per year, over the last three years. This reduction in EPS is slower than the 8.9% annual reduction in the share price. So it seems the market was too confident about the business, in the past. This increased caution is also evident in the rather low P/E ratio, which is sitting at 10.63.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that B.O.S. Better Online Solutions has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 12% in the last twelve months. Notably the five-year annualised TSR loss of 3.5% per year compares very unfavourably with the recent share price performance. We generally put more weight on the long term performance over the short term, but the recent improvement could hint at a (positive) inflection point within the business. Before deciding if you like the current share price, check how B.O.S. Better Online Solutions scores on these 3 valuation metrics.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will 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.
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 email@example.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.