It might be of some concern to shareholders to see the Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation (NASDAQ:BGFV) share price down 11% in the last month. But over three years the performance has been really wonderful. Over that time, we've been excited to watch the share price climb an impressive 379%. So the recent fall doesn't do much to dampen our respect for the business. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price.
With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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.
Big 5 Sporting Goods became profitable within the last three years. Given the importance of this milestone, it's not overly surprising that the share price has increased strongly.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We know that Big 5 Sporting Goods has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? This free interactive report on Big 5 Sporting Goods' balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Big 5 Sporting Goods' TSR for the last 3 years was 497%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 19% in the twelve months, Big 5 Sporting Goods shareholders did even worse, losing 53% (even including dividends). 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. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 16% 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. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Big 5 Sporting Goods you should be aware of, and 1 of them makes us a bit uncomfortable.
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.
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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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