United Malt Group (ASX:UMG) shareholders have endured a 17% loss from investing in the stock a year ago

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United Malt Group Limited (ASX:UMG) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 12% in the last month. But that doesn’t change the fact that the returns over the last year have been less than pleasing. After all, the share price is down 18% in the last year, significantly under-performing the market.

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.

Check out our latest analysis for United Malt Group

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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).

Unhappily, United Malt Group had to report a 75% decline in EPS over the last year. This fall in the EPS is significantly worse than the 18% the share price fall. So the market may not be too worried about the EPS figure, at the moment — or it may have expected earnings to drop faster. With a P/E ratio of 104.65, it’s fair to say the market sees an EPS rebound on the cards.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth

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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of United Malt Group’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

United Malt Group shareholders are down 17% for the year (even including dividends), even worse than the market loss of 1.9%. There’s no doubt that’s a disappointment, but the stock may well have fared better in a stronger market. With the stock down 12% over the last three months, the market doesn’t seem to believe that the company has solved all its problems. Basically, most investors should be wary of buying into a poor-performing stock, unless the business itself has clearly improved. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand United Malt Group better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we’ve spotted 2 warning signs for United Malt Group you should know about.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do 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 AU exchanges.

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

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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