Perenti Global (ASX:PRN) shareholders have endured a 44% loss from investing in the stock three years ago

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In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it’s worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But if you try your hand at stock picking, your risk returning less than the market. We regret to report that long term Perenti Global Limited (ASX:PRN) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 51% in three years, versus a market return of about 33%. The more recent news is of little comfort, with the share price down 30% in a year.

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 Perenti Global

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 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.

Perenti Global became profitable within the last five years. We would usually expect to see the share price rise as a result. So given the share price is down it’s worth checking some other metrics too.

We note that, in three years, revenue has actually grown at a 14% annual rate, so that doesn’t seem to be a reason to sell shares. This analysis is just perfunctory, but it might be worth researching Perenti Global more closely, as sometimes stocks fall unfairly. This could present an opportunity.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Perenti Global

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

We’d be remiss not to mention the difference between Perenti Global’s total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. Dividends have been really beneficial for Perenti Global shareholders, and that cash payout explains why its total shareholder loss of 44%, over the last 3 years, isn’t as bad as the share price return.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 6.5% in the last year, Perenti Global shareholders lost 28%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year’s performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 6% per year over five years. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should “buy when there is blood on the streets”, but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares – and the price they paid.

Perenti Global 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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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.