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Lucapa Diamond's (ASX:LOM) earnings have declined over five years, contributing to shareholders 81% loss

It is doubtless a positive to see that the Lucapa Diamond Company Limited (ASX:LOM) share price has gained some 52% in the last three months. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last half decade have been stomach churning. Like a ship taking on water, the share price has sunk 81% in that time. The recent bounce might mean the long decline is over, but we are not confident. The million dollar question is whether the company can justify a long term recovery. We really hope anyone holding through that price crash has a diversified portfolio. Even when you lose money, you don't have to lose the lesson.

Although the past week has been more reassuring for shareholders, they're still in the red over the last five years, so let's see if the underlying business has been responsible for the decline.

See our latest analysis for Lucapa Diamond

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.

During five years of share price growth, Lucapa Diamond moved from a loss to profitability. That would generally be considered a positive, so we are surprised to see the share price is down. Other metrics might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.

In contrast to the share price, revenue has actually increased by 66% a year in the five year period. A more detailed examination of the revenue and earnings may or may not explain why the share price languishes; there could be an opportunity.

You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Lucapa Diamond's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Lucapa Diamond shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 52% over the last year. There's no doubt those recent returns are much better than the TSR loss of 13% per year over five years. This makes us a little wary, but the business might have turned around its fortunes. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Lucapa Diamond better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Lucapa Diamond (including 1 which 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 AU exchanges.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.