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If You Had Bought India (NSE:PTC) Stock Five Years Ago, You'd Be Sitting On A 34% Loss, Today

Simply Wall St

Ideally, your overall portfolio should beat the market average. But the main game is to find enough winners to more than offset the losers So we wouldn't blame long term PTC India Limited (NSE:PTC) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 34% over a half decade. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 14% in the last 90 days.

View our latest analysis for India

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.

While the share price declined over five years, India actually managed to increase EPS by an average of 2.4% per year. So it doesn't seem like EPS is a great guide to understanding how the market is valuing the stock. Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.

Based on these numbers, we'd venture that the market may have been over-optimistic about forecast growth, half a decade ago. Having said that, we might get a better idea of what's going on with the stock by looking at other metrics.

The steady dividend doesn't really explain why the share price is down. 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).

NSEI:PTC Income Statement, October 10th 2019

We know that India has improved its bottom line lately, but what does the future have in store? So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for India the TSR over the last 5 years was -19%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 3.0% in the last year, India shareholders lost 17% (even including dividends) . However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 4.1% over the last half decade. We realise that Buffett 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 businesses. Keeping this in mind, a solid next step might be to take a look at India's dividend track record. This free interactive graph is a great place to start.

If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on IN 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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.