Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (NYSE:SQM) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 17% in the last quarter. On the bright side the share price is up over the last half decade. Unfortunately its return of 100% is below the market return of 127%.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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).
Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile's earnings per share are down 2.0% per year, despite strong share price performance over five years.
By glancing at these numbers, we'd posit that the decline in earnings per share is not representative of how the business has changed over the years. Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.
We doubt the modest 0.5% dividend yield is attracting many buyers to the stock. The revenue reduction of 0.2% per year is not a positive. It certainly surprises us that the share price is up, but perhaps a closer examination of the data will yield answers.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile is well known by investors, and plenty of clever analysts have tried to predict the future profit levels. You can see what analysts are predicting for Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile, it has a TSR of 128% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 87% in the last twelve months. Of course, that includes the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 18% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. 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. For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile that you should be aware of.
We will like Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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.
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