In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it’s worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But its virtually certain that sometimes you will buy stocks that fall short of the market average returns. Unfortunately, that’s been the case for longer term Planet Fitness, Inc. (NYSE:PLNT) shareholders, since the share price is down 24% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 21%. It’s down 28% in about a quarter.
Although the past week has been more reassuring for shareholders, they’re still in the red over the last three years, so let’s see if the underlying business has been responsible for the decline.
See our latest analysis for Planet Fitness
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. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
During the unfortunate three years of share price decline, Planet Fitness actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 50% per year. Given the share price reaction, one might suspect that EPS is not a good guide to the business performance during the period (perhaps due to a one-off loss or gain). Or else the company was over-hyped in the past, and so its growth has disappointed.
It’s worth taking a look at other metrics, because the EPS growth doesn’t seem to match with the falling share price.
We note that, in three years, revenue has actually grown at a 34% annual rate, so that doesn’t seem to be a reason to sell shares. It’s probably worth investigating Planet Fitness further; while we may be missing something on this analysis, there might also be an opportunity.
The company’s revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. You can see what analysts are predicting for Planet Fitness in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Planet Fitness had a tough year, with a total loss of 18%, against a market gain of about 22%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn’t be so upset, since they would have made 0.1%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Planet Fitness better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we’ve spotted 2 warning signs for Planet Fitness 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 American exchanges.
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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.