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Investors in Knorr-Bremse (ETR:KBX) have unfortunately lost 41% over the last three years

For many investors, the main point of stock picking is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But the risk of stock picking is that you will likely buy under-performing companies. We regret to report that long term Knorr-Bremse AG (ETR:KBX) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 45% in three years, versus a market decline of about 1.3%.

It's worthwhile assessing if the company's economics have been moving in lockstep with these underwhelming shareholder returns, or if there is some disparity between the two. So let's do just that.

View our latest analysis for Knorr-Bremse

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.


Knorr-Bremse saw its EPS decline at a compound rate of 2.6% per year, over the last three years. The share price decline of 18% is actually steeper than the EPS slippage. So it seems the market was too confident about the business, in the past.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).


It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Knorr-Bremse'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). Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Knorr-Bremse the TSR over the last 3 years was -41%, 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

Knorr-Bremse shareholders gained a total return of 5.9% during the year. But that return falls short of the market. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it is certainly better than the yearly loss of about 4% endured over half a decade. So this might be a sign the business has turned its fortunes around. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Knorr-Bremse better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Knorr-Bremse you should know about.

But note: Knorr-Bremse may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on German exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at)

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.