The simplest way to benefit from a rising market is to buy an index fund. But if you buy individual stocks, you can do both better or worse than that. For example, the Howden Joinery Group Plc (LON:HWDN) share price is down 44% in the last year. That falls noticeably short of the market decline of around 12%. Longer term shareholders haven't suffered as badly, since the stock is down a comparatively less painful 11% in three years. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 20% in the last three months.
Now let's have a look at the company's fundamentals, and see if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.
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 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).
Even though the Howden Joinery Group share price is down over the year, its EPS actually improved. It could be that the share price was previously over-hyped.
It's fair to say that the share price does not seem to be reflecting the EPS growth. So it's easy to justify a look at some other metrics.
Howden Joinery Group managed to grow revenue over the last year, which is usually a real positive. Since we can't easily explain the share price movement based on these metrics, it might be worth considering how market sentiment has changed towards the stock.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
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 we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 12% in the twelve months, Howden Joinery Group shareholders did even worse, losing 42% (even including dividends). 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. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 7%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Howden Joinery Group better, we need to consider many other factors. Even so, be aware that Howden Joinery Group is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those can't be ignored...
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 GB 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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