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Volatility 101: Should Valvoline (NYSE:VVV) Shares Have Dropped 17%?

Simply Wall St

It's easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. When you buy individual stocks, you can make higher profits, but you also face the risk of under-performance. Unfortunately the Valvoline Inc. (NYSE:VVV) share price slid 17% over twelve months. That falls noticeably short of the market return of around 9.1%. Valvoline may have better days ahead, of course; we've only looked at a one year period. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 13% in the last three months.

See our latest analysis for Valvoline

To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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.

During the unfortunate twelve months during which the Valvoline share price fell, it actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 8.4%. It's quite possible that growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past. It's fair to say that the share price does not seem to be reflecting the EPS growth. So it's easy to justify a look at some other metrics.

Valvoline's revenue is actually up 7.3% over the last year. Since we can't easily explain the share price movement based on these metrics, it might be worth considering how market sentiment has changed towards the stock.

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.

NYSE:VVV Income Statement, April 16th 2019

Valvoline is well known by investors, and plenty of clever analysts have tried to predict the future profit levels. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

A Different Perspective

Given that the market gained 9.1% in the last year, Valvoline shareholders might be miffed that they lost 15% (even including dividends). While the aim is to do better than that, it's worth recalling that even great long-term investments sometimes underperform for a year or more. With the stock down 13% over the last three months, the market doesn't seem to believe that the company has solved all its problems. Basically, most investors should be wary of buying into a poor-performing stock, unless the business itself has clearly improved. Before spending more time on Valvoline it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.

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 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.