The past year for Liberty Financial Group (ASX:LFG) investors has not been profitable




  • In Business
  • 2023-01-25 02:35:08Z
  • By Simply Wall St.
 

Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. But if you buy individual stocks, you can do both better or worse than that. For example, the Liberty Financial Group Limited (ASX:LFG) share price is down 31% in the last year. That contrasts poorly with the market return of 6.7%. Because Liberty Financial Group hasn't been listed for many years, the market is still learning about how the business performs.

It's worthwhile assessing if the company's economics have been moving in lockstep with these underwhelming shareholder returns, or if there is some disparity between the two. So let's do just that.

See our latest analysis for Liberty Financial Group

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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 Liberty Financial Group share price fell, it actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 18%. It's quite possible that growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.

It's fair to say that the share price does not seem to be reflecting the EPS growth. So it's easy to justify a look at some other metrics.

We don't see any weakness in the Liberty Financial Group's dividend so the steady payout can't really explain the share price drop. From what we can see, revenue is pretty flat, so that doesn't really explain the share price drop. Unless, of course, the market was expecting a revenue uptick.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

We know that Liberty Financial Group has improved its bottom line lately, but what does the future have in store? You can see what analysts are predicting for Liberty Financial Group 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). Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Liberty Financial Group's TSR for the last 1 year was -22%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

While Liberty Financial Group shareholders are down 22% for the year (even including dividends), the market itself is up 6.7%. While the aim is to do better than that, it's worth recalling that even great long-term investments sometimes underperform for a year or more. Putting aside the last twelve months, it's good to see the share price has rebounded by 3.5%, in the last ninety days. This could just be a bounce because the selling was too aggressive, but fingers crossed it's the start of a new trend. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Liberty Financial Group better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Liberty Financial Group (1 shouldn't be ignored) that you should be aware of.

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 AU 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.

Join A Paid User Research Session
You'll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here

COMMENTS

More Related News

When Should You Buy Premier Investments Limited (ASX:PMV)?
When Should You Buy Premier Investments Limited (ASX:PMV)?

While Premier Investments Limited ( ASX:PMV ) might not be the most widely known stock at the moment, it saw a...

A Look At The Intrinsic Value Of Naim Holdings Berhad (KLSE:NAIM)
A Look At The Intrinsic Value Of Naim Holdings Berhad (KLSE:NAIM)

Does the February share price for Naim Holdings Berhad ( KLSE:NAIM ) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will...

C.I. Holdings Berhad
C.I. Holdings Berhad's (KLSE:CIHLDG) investors will be pleased with their splendid 176% return over the last three years

It might seem bad, but the worst that can happen when you buy a stock (without leverage) is that its share price goes...

Fajarbaru Builder Group Bhd (KLSE:FAJAR) shareholders have endured a 14% loss from investing in the stock five years ago
Fajarbaru Builder Group Bhd (KLSE:FAJAR) shareholders have endured a 14% loss from investing in the stock five years ago

Fajarbaru Builder Group Bhd. ( KLSE:FAJAR ) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 11% in the last...

Meta reports sales fall, but beats expectations
Meta reports sales fall, but beats expectations

Facebook and Instagram owner Meta on Wednesday reported its first annual sales drop since the company went public in 2012, but the fall was less brutal than ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Business