It’s understandable if you feel frustrated when a stock you own sees a lower share price. But sometimes broader market conditions have more of an impact on prices than the actual business performance. So while the HomeTrust Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTBI) share price is down 16% in the last year, the total return to shareholders (which includes dividends) was -15%. That’s better than the market which declined 18% over the last year. On the bright side, the stock is actually up 1.5% in the last three years. It’s down 17% in about a quarter. But this could be related to the weak market, which is down 15% in the same period.
Now let’s have a look at the company’s fundamentals, and see if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.
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 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.
Unfortunately HomeTrust Bancshares reported an EPS drop of 14% for the last year. This proportional reduction in earnings per share isn’t far from the 16% decrease in the share price. Given the lower EPS we might have expected investors to lose confidence in the stock, but that doesn’t seemed to have happened. Instead, the change in the share price seems to reduction in earnings per share, alone.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We’re pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
A Different Perspective
Although it hurts that HomeTrust Bancshares returned a loss of 15% in the last twelve months, the broader market was actually worse, returning a loss of 18%. Longer term investors wouldn’t be so upset, since they would have made 1.7%, each year, over five years. It could be that the business is just facing some short term problems, but shareholders should keep a close eye on the fundamentals. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand HomeTrust Bancshares better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we’ve discovered 2 warning signs for HomeTrust Bancshares (1 is a bit unpleasant!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
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.