The art and science of stock market investing requires a tolerance for losing money on some of the shares you buy. But it's not unreasonable to try to avoid truly shocking capital losses. So we hope that those who held EML Payments Limited (ASX:EML) during the last year don't lose the lesson, in addition to the 78% hit to the value of their shares. While some investors are willing to stomach this sort of loss, they are usually professionals who spread their bets thinly. We note that it has not been easy for shareholders over three years, either; the share price is down 76% in that time. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 33% in the last three months. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.
With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.
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 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.
EML Payments fell to a loss making position during the year. While this may prove temporary, we'd consider it a negative, so it doesn't surprise us that the stock price is down. However, there may be an opportunity for investors if the company can recover.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. This free interactive report on EML Payments' earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that EML Payments shareholders are down 78% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 4.5%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 8% over the last half decade. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand EML Payments better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - EML Payments has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
We will like EML Payments better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU 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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