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Magna International (TSE:MG) investors are sitting on a loss of 44% if they invested three years ago

As an investor its worth striving to ensure your overall portfolio beats the market average. But in any portfolio, there are likely to be some stocks that fall short of that benchmark. We regret to report that long term Magna International Inc. (TSE:MG) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 49% in three years, versus a market return of about 16%. Furthermore, it's down 22% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders.

Now let's have a look at the company's fundamentals, and see if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

See our latest analysis for Magna International

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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).

During the three years that the share price fell, Magna International's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 1.7% each year. This reduction in EPS is slower than the 20% annual reduction in the share price. So it's likely that the EPS decline has disappointed the market, leaving investors hesitant to buy.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We know that Magna International has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? If you're interested, you could check this free report showing consensus revenue forecasts.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Magna International, it has a TSR of -44% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

Magna International shareholders are down 18% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 13%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 1.0% per year over half a decade. 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. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Magna International , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of undervalued companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on Canadian 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com