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It is doubtless a positive to see that the John Menzies plc (LON:MNZS) share price has gained some 59% in the last three months. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last three years have been disappointing. Tragically, the share price declined 65% in that time. Some might say the recent bounce is to be expected after such a bad drop. While many would remain nervous, there could be further gains if the business can put its best foot forward.
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
Over the three years that the share price declined, John Menzies' earnings per share (EPS) dropped significantly, falling to a loss. Due to the loss, it's not easy to use EPS as a reliable guide to the business. However, we can say we'd expect to see a falling share price in this scenario.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of John Menzies' earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between John Menzies' total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. John Menzies' TSR of was a loss of 62% for the 3 years. That wasn't as bad as its share price return, because it has paid dividends.
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that John Menzies shareholders are down 44% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 5.7%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 6% over the last half decade. 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. 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. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with John Menzies (including 1 which makes us a bit uncomfortable) .
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB 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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