Investors can approximate the average 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. For example, the Credicorp Ltd. (NYSE:BAP) share price is down 39% in the last year. That contrasts poorly with the market return of 23%. We note that it has not been easy for shareholders over three years, either; the share price is down 39% in that time. The good news is that the stock is up 2.0% in the last week.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
Unfortunately Credicorp reported an EPS drop of 60% for the last year. The share price fall of 39% isn't as bad as the reduction in earnings per share. It may have been that the weak EPS was not as bad as some had feared.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Credicorp's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. We note that for Credicorp the TSR over the last year was -34%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Credicorp shareholders are down 34% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 23%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 6% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Credicorp you should know about.
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.
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. 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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