Long term investing works well, but it doesn’t always work for each individual stock. It hits us in the gut when we see fellow investors suffer a loss. For example, we sympathize with anyone who was caught holding Capita plc (LON:CPI) during the five years that saw its share price drop a whopping 89%. There was little comfort for shareholders in the last week as the price declined a further 2.1%.
While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn’t as important as health and happiness.
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 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.
Capita has made a profit in the past. However, it made a loss in the last twelve months, suggesting profit may be an unreliable metric at this stage. Other metrics might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.
Revenue is actually up 2.0% over the time period. A more detailed examination of the revenue and earnings may or may not explain why the share price languishes; there could be an opportunity.
Depicted in the graphic below, you’ll see revenue and earnings over time. If you want more detail, you can click on the chart itself.
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Capita
A Dividend Lost
The share price return figures discussed above don’t include the value of dividends paid previously, but the total shareholder return (TSR) does. By accounting for the value of dividends paid, the TSR can be seen as a more complete measure of the value a company brings to its shareholders. Capita’s TSR over the last 5 years is -80%; better than its share price return. Even though the company isn’t paying dividends at the moment, it has done in the past.
A Different Perspective
It’s good to see that Capita has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 17% in the last twelve months. Notably the five-year annualised TSR loss of 27% per year compares very unfavourably with the recent share price performance. This makes us a little wary, but the business might have turned around its fortunes. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.
Capita 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.