The main aim of stock picking is to find the market-beating stocks. But even the best stock picker will only win with some selections. So we wouldn’t blame long term Uniti Group Inc. (NASDAQ:UNIT) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 64% over a half decade. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 32% in the last 90 days. However, one could argue that the price has been influenced by the general market, which is down 13% in the same timeframe.
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.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it’s a weighing machine. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company’s share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
During five years of share price growth, Uniti Group moved from a loss to profitability. Most would consider that to be a good thing, so it’s counter-intuitive to see the share price declining. Other metrics may better explain the share price move.
The most recent dividend was actually lower than it was in the past, so that may have sent the share price lower.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
Uniti Group is well known by investors, and plenty of clever analysts have tried to predict the future profit levels. Given we have quite a good number of analyst forecasts, it might be well worth checking out this free chart depicting consensus estimates.
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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Uniti Group’s TSR for the last 5 years was -46%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Although it hurts that Uniti Group returned a loss of 11% in the last twelve months, the broader market was actually worse, returning a loss of 16%. What is more upsetting is the 8% per annum loss investors have suffered over the last half decade. This sort of share price action isn’t particularly encouraging, but at least the losses are slowing. 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. To that end, you should learn about the 5 warning signs we’ve spotted with Uniti Group (including 2 which are a bit concerning) .
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US 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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