We think intelligent long term investing is the way to go. But along the way some stocks are going to perform badly. For example the Centum Electronics Limited (NSE:CENTUM) share price dropped 52% over five years. That’s not a lot of fun for true believers. Contrary to the longer term story, the last month has been good for stockholders, with a share price gain of 9.2%.
Check out our latest analysis for Centum Electronics
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.
Centum Electronics became profitable within the last five years. That would generally be considered a positive, so we are surprised to see the share price is down. Other metrics may better explain the share price move.
The modest 1.3% dividend yield is unlikely to be guiding the market view of the stock. In contrast to the share price, revenue has actually increased by 19% a year in the five year period. So it seems one might have to take closer look at the fundamentals to understand why the share price languishes. After all, there may be an opportunity.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Centum Electronics had a tough year, with a total loss of 2.9% (including dividends) , against a market gain of about 11%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, longer term shareholders are suffering worse, given the loss of 13% doled out over the last five years. We’d need to see some sustained improvements in the key metrics before we could muster much enthusiasm. 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. For instance, we’ve identified 4 warning signs for Centum Electronics (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable) that you should be aware of.
We will like Centum Electronics better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.