It is doubtless a positive to see that the Village Roadshow Limited (ASX:VRL) share price has gained some 34% in the last three months. But if you look at the last five years the returns have not been good. After all, the share price is down 53% in that time, significantly under-performing the market.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
Over five years Village Roadshow’s earnings per share dropped significantly, falling to a loss, with the share price also lower. The recent extraordinary items contributed to this situation. At present it’s hard to make valid comparisons between EPS and the share price. However, we can say we’d expect to see a falling share price in this scenario.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover 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. This free interactive report on Village Roadshow’s earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
A Dividend Lost
The value of past dividends are accounted for in the total shareholder return (TSR), but not in the share price return mentioned above. By accounting for the value of dividends paid, the TSR can be seen as a more complete measure of the value a company brings to its shareholders. Village Roadshow’s TSR over the last 5 years is -45%; better than its share price return. Although the company had to cut dividends, it has paid cash to shareholders in the past.
A Different Perspective
Village Roadshow shareholders gained a total return of 1.6% during the year. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. But at least that’s still a gain! Over five years the TSR has been a reduction of 11% per year, over five years. So this might be a sign the business has turned its fortunes around. 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.
Village Roadshow is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with 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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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. Thank you for reading.