A-Mark Precious Metals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMRK) shareholders have seen the share price descend 11% over the month. But that does not change the realty that the stock’s performance has been terrific, over five years. In fact, during that period, the share price climbed 316%. Impressive! So we don’t think the recent decline in the share price means its story is a sad one. But the real question is whether the business fundamentals can improve over the long term. While the long term returns are impressive, we do have some sympathy for those who bought more recently, given the 28% drop, in the last year.
Now it’s worth having a look at the company’s fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
During the last half decade, A-Mark Precious Metals became profitable. Sometimes, the start of profitability is a major inflection point that can signal fast earnings growth to come, which in turn justifies very strong share price gains. Given that the company made a profit three years ago, but not five years ago, it is worth looking at the share price returns over the last three years, too. We can see that the A-Mark Precious Metals share price is up 96% in the last three years. During the same period, EPS grew by 14% each year. Notably, the EPS growth has been slower than the annualised share price gain of 25% over three years. So one can reasonably conclude the market is more enthusiastic about the stock than it was three years ago.
The company’s earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We’re pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. It’s always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of A-Mark Precious Metals’ earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, A-Mark Precious Metals’ TSR for the last 5 years was 423%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 22% in the last year, A-Mark Precious Metals shareholders lost 24% (even including dividends). Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn’t be so upset, since they would have made 39%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand A-Mark Precious Metals better, we need to consider many other factors. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we’ve spotted 4 warning signs for A-Mark Precious Metals (of which 2 are significant!) you should know about.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on American 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.