The nature of investing is that you win some, and you lose some. Anyone who held Delta Apparel, Inc. (NYSEMKT:DLA) over the last year knows what a loser feels like. In that relatively short period, the share price has plunged 54%. To make matters worse, the returns over three years have also been really disappointing (the share price is 45% lower than three years ago). The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 51% in the last three months. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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 unfortunate twelve months during which the Delta Apparel share price fell, it actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 44%. It's quite possible that growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.
The divergence between the EPS and the share price is quite notable, during the year. But we might find some different metrics explain the share price movements better.
Revenue was fairly steady year on year, which isn't usually such a bad thing. But the share price might be lower because the market expected a meaningful improvement, and got none.
The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Delta Apparel
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 6.5% in the last year, Delta Apparel shareholders lost 54%. 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 6.0% per year over five years. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. 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. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Delta Apparel (of which 1 is potentially serious!) 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 US exchanges.
Love or hate this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email email@example.com.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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. Thank you for reading.