Warpaint London PLC (LON:W7L) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 11% in the last week. But that doesn't help the fact that the three year return is less impressive. Truth be told the share price declined 45% in three years and that return, Dear Reader, falls short of what you could have got from passive investing with an index fund.
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).
During the three years that the share price fell, Warpaint London's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 26% each year. This fall in the EPS is worse than the 18% compound annual share price fall. This suggests that the market retains some optimism around long term earnings stability, despite past EPS declines.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
This free interactive report on Warpaint London's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Warpaint London, it has a TSR of -40% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
Over the last year, Warpaint London shareholders took a loss of 9.5% , including dividends . In contrast the market gained about 19%. Of course the long term matters more than the short term, and even great stocks will sometimes have a poor year. However, the loss over the last year isn't as bad as the 16% per annum loss investors have suffered over the last three years. We'd need clear signs of growth in the underlying business before we could muster much enthusiasm for this one. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 5 warning signs for Warpaint London you should know about.
If you are like me, then you will 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.
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