G8 Education (ASX:GEM) shareholders have endured a 64% loss from investing in the stock five years ago

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We think intelligent long term investing is the way to go. But that doesn’t mean long term investors can avoid big losses. For example the G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM) share price dropped 72% over five years. That is extremely sub-optimal, to say the least. Furthermore, it’s down 12% in about a quarter. That’s not much fun for holders. However, one could argue that the price has been influenced by the general market, which is down 14% in the same timeframe.

It’s worthwhile assessing if the company’s economics have been moving in lockstep with these underwhelming shareholder returns, or if there is some disparity between the two. So let’s do just that.

See our latest analysis for G8 Education

To quote Buffett, ‘Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace…’ One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

G8 Education 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.

In contrast to the share price, revenue has actually increased by 1.7% 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.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth

We know that G8 Education has improved its bottom line lately, but what does the future have in store? This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on G8 Education

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. We note that for G8 Education the TSR over the last 5 years was -64%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

We’re pleased to report that G8 Education shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 4.2% over one year. And that does include the dividend. That certainly beats the loss of about 10% per year over the last half decade. We generally put more weight on the long term performance over the short term, but the recent improvement could hint at a (positive) inflection point within the business. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Case in point: We’ve spotted 1 warning sign for G8 Education you should be aware of.

We will like G8 Education 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.