We think intelligent long term investing is the way to go. But that doesn't mean long term investors can avoid big losses. To wit, the Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ:MYL) share price managed to fall 64% over five long years. That is extremely sub-optimal, to say the least. And some of the more recent buyers are probably worried, too, with the stock falling 28% in the last year. The silver lining is that the stock is up 1.3% in about a week.
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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.
Looking back five years, both Mylan's share price and EPS declined; the latter at a rate of 48% per year. This fall in the EPS is worse than the 19% compound annual share price fall. So the market may previously have expected a drop, or else it expects the situation will improve. With a P/E ratio of 218.07, it's fair to say the market sees a brighter future for the business.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
A Different Perspective
Investors in Mylan had a tough year, with a total loss of 28%, against a market gain of about 31%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 19% per year over five years. 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.
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 US exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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