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The First Quantum Minerals (TSE:FM) Share Price Is Down 29% So Some Shareholders Are Getting Worried

Simply Wall St

As an investor its worth striving to ensure your overall portfolio beats the market average. But in any portfolio, there are likely to be some stocks that fall short of that benchmark. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (TSE:FM) shareholders, since the share price is down 29% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 17%. And the share price decline continued over the last week, dropping some 14%.

View our latest analysis for First Quantum Minerals

In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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).

First Quantum Minerals saw its EPS decline at a compound rate of 7.4% per year, over the last three years. The share price decline of 11% is actually steeper than the EPS slippage. So it's likely that the EPS decline has disappointed the market, leaving investors hesitant to buy.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

TSX:FM Past and Future Earnings, January 28th 2020

We know that First Quantum Minerals has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? If you're interested, you could check this free report showing consensus revenue forecasts.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 12% in the last year, First Quantum Minerals shareholders lost 13% (even including dividends) . However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 1.4% over the last half decade. We realise that Buffett 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. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for First Quantum Minerals that you should be aware of before investing here.

If you are like me, then you will 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 CA exchanges.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.