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While shareholders of Kingfisher (LON:KGF) are in the red over the last five years, underlying earnings have actually grown

Kingfisher plc (LON:KGF) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 23% in the last month. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last five years have been less than pleasing. You would have done a lot better buying an index fund, since the stock has dropped 25% in that half decade.

While the stock has risen 5.2% in the past week but long term shareholders are still in the red, let's see what the fundamentals can tell us.

View our latest analysis for Kingfisher

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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.

While the share price declined over five years, Kingfisher actually managed to increase EPS by an average of 5.4% per year. So it doesn't seem like EPS is a great guide to understanding how the market is valuing the stock. Or possibly, the market was previously very optimistic, so the stock has disappointed, despite improving EPS.

Due to the lack of correlation between the EPS growth and the falling share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics to try to understand the share price movement.

We note that the dividend has remained healthy, so that wouldn't really explain the share price drop. It's not immediately clear to us why the stock price is down but further research might provide some answers.

You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. You can see what analysts are predicting for Kingfisher in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Kingfisher, it has a TSR of -10.0% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Kingfisher shareholders are down 19% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 4.6%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 1.9% over the last half decade. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. 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. To that end, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Kingfisher (including 1 which is a bit concerning) .

Kingfisher is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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