Taking the occasional loss comes part and parcel with investing on the stock market. Anyone who held LendingClub Corporation (NYSE:LC) over the last year knows what a loser feels like. In that relatively short period, the share price has plunged 69%. However, the longer term returns haven't been so bad, with the stock down 27% in the last three years. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 32% in the last three months.
Given the past week has been tough on shareholders, let's investigate the fundamentals and see what we can learn.
Check out our latest analysis for LendingClub
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 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.
LendingClub managed to increase earnings per share from a loss to a profit, over the last 12 months.
The result looks like a strong improvement to us, so we're surprised the market has sold down the shares. If the company can sustain the earnings growth, this might be an inflection point for the business, which would make right now a really interesting time to study it more closely.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
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. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 18% in the twelve months, LendingClub shareholders did even worse, losing 69%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 9% over the last half decade. We realise that Baron Rothschild 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. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand LendingClub better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - LendingClub has 2 warning signs (and 1 which can't be ignored) we think 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.
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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