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Such Is Life: How Dixons Carphone (LON:DC.) Shareholders Saw Their Shares Drop 64%

Simply Wall St

Investing in stocks inevitably means buying into some companies that perform poorly. But the long term shareholders of Dixons Carphone plc (LON:DC.) have had an unfortunate run in the last three years. So they might be feeling emotional about the 64% share price collapse, in that time. And over the last year the share price fell 31%, so we doubt many shareholders are delighted. Furthermore, it's down 15% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders. This could be related to the recent financial results - you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report.

See our latest analysis for Dixons Carphone

In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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.

Over the three years that the share price declined, Dixons Carphone's earnings per share (EPS) dropped significantly, falling to a loss. Extraordinary items contributed to this situation. 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).

LSE:DC. Past and Future Earnings, July 26th 2019

It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. This free interactive report on Dixons Carphone's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

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 incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Dixons Carphone, it has a TSR of -59% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

Dixons Carphone shareholders are down 26% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 1.8%. 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 15% 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. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

Dixons Carphone is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

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