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Investors in Dechra Pharmaceuticals (LON:DPH) have unfortunately lost 40% over the last year

Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. When you buy individual stocks, you can make higher profits, but you also face the risk of under-performance. Investors in Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC (LON:DPH) have tasted that bitter downside in the last year, as the share price dropped 40%. That contrasts poorly with the market decline of 3.5%. However, the longer term returns haven't been so bad, with the stock down 16% in the last three years.

So let's have a look and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

Check out our latest analysis for Dechra Pharmaceuticals

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect 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.

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During the unfortunate twelve months during which the Dechra Pharmaceuticals share price fell, it actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 4.7%. Of course, the situation might betray previous over-optimism about growth.

By glancing at these numbers, we'd posit that the the market had expectations of much higher growth, last year. But looking to other metrics might better explain the share price change.

With a low yield of 1.8% we doubt that the dividend influences the share price much. Dechra Pharmaceuticals' revenue is actually up 12% over the last year. Since the fundamental metrics don't readily explain the share price drop, there might be an opportunity if the market has overreacted.

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
earnings-and-revenue-growth

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. If you are thinking of buying or selling Dechra Pharmaceuticals stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 3.5% in the twelve months, Dechra Pharmaceuticals shareholders did even worse, losing 40% (even including dividends). Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 7% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. 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. Even so, be aware that Dechra Pharmaceuticals is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...

Dechra Pharmaceuticals is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.

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