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Even after rising 7.1% this past week, Virgin Money UK (LON:VMUK) shareholders are still down 44% over the past five years

Virgin Money UK PLC (LON:VMUK) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 14% in the last month. But if you look at the last five years the returns have not been good. In fact, the share price is down 47%, which falls well short of the return you could get by buying an index fund.

Although the past week has been more reassuring for shareholders, they're still in the red over the last five years, so let's see if the underlying business has been responsible for the decline.

Check out our latest analysis for Virgin Money UK

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 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.

During five years of share price growth, Virgin Money UK moved from a loss to profitability. That would generally be considered a positive, so we are surprised to see the share price is down. Other metrics might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.

The modest 1.6% dividend yield is unlikely to be guiding the market view of the stock. In contrast to the share price, revenue has actually increased by 9.5% a year in the five year 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.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

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

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Virgin Money UK, it has a TSR of -44% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Virgin Money UK shareholders are down 23% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 2.7%. 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. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 8% per year over five years. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should "buy when there is blood on the streets", but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Virgin Money UK better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for Virgin Money UK that you should be aware of before investing here.

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 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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