Transurban Group (ASX:TCL) shareholders have endured a 3.8% loss from investing in the stock three years ago




  • In Business
  • 2022-09-26 01:15:21Z
  • By Simply Wall St.
 

As an investor its worth striving to ensure your overall portfolio beats the market average. But if you try your hand at stock picking, your risk returning less than the market. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term Transurban Group (ASX:TCL) shareholders, since the share price is down 12% in the last three years, falling well short of the market decline of around 13%. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 11% in the last three months.

Since shareholders are down over the longer term, lets look at the underlying fundamentals over the that time and see if they've been consistent with returns.

View our latest analysis for Transurban Group

Given that Transurban Group only made minimal earnings in the last twelve months, we'll focus on revenue to gauge its business development. Generally speaking, we'd consider a stock like this alongside loss-making companies, simply because the quantum of the profit is so low. It would be hard to believe in a more profitable future without growing revenues.

In the last three years Transurban Group saw its revenue shrink by 11% per year. That's not what investors generally want to see. The annual decline of 4% per year in that period has clearly disappointed holders. That makes sense given the lack of either profits or revenue growth. Of course, sentiment could become too negative, and the company may actually be making progress to profitability.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. If you are thinking of buying or selling Transurban Group stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Transurban Group's TSR for the last 3 years was -3.8%, 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

The total return of 5.4% received by Transurban Group shareholders over the last year isn't far from the market return of -6.0%. The silver lining is that longer term investors would have made a total return of 6% per year over half a decade. If the stock price has been impacted by changing sentiment, rather than deteriorating business conditions, it could spell opportunity. 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. Even so, be aware that Transurban Group is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 2 of those are a bit unpleasant...

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.

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