Huntsman Corporation (NYSE:HUN) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 10% in the last quarter. But over the last half decade, the stock has not performed well. After all, the share price is down 18% in that time, significantly under-performing the market.
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.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
While the share price declined over five years, Huntsman actually managed to increase EPS by an average of 28% 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.
It is unusual to see such modest share price growth in the face of sustained EPS improvements. We can look to other metrics to try to understand the situation better.
In contrast to the share price, revenue has actually increased by 1.4% a year in the five year period. So it seems one might have to take closer look at the fundamentals to understand why the share price languishes. After all, there may be an opportunity.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
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 it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Huntsman will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. In the case of Huntsman, it has a TSR of -6.2% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
While it's never nice to take a loss, Huntsman shareholders can take comfort that , including dividends,their trailing twelve month loss of 14% wasn't as bad as the market loss of around 21%. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it's worse than the annualised loss of 1.2% over the last half decade. Whilst Baron Rothschild does tell the investor "buy when there's blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own", buyers would need to examine the data carefully to be comfortable that the business itself is sound. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Huntsman better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Huntsman (at least 1 which is potentially serious) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
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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