Equities Lab Charts Individual StocksThis can be something as simple as a chart of the stock price versus the S&P 500. Notice, in the chart below, that we support going back 25 years. We also changed the tear sheet, so you can visualize the fact that the stock is only 62% of its all time high (look on the right, midway down in the table). See the blue line for a plot of the industry, where we can see that Sturm Ruger and Co should be doing better.
We Can Chart FundamentalsThe question is: where did RGR do poorly? And why? Let’s chart earnings, revenue, and cash flow. Notice that the operating cash flow (pink line) and the income (blue line) spent significant time going down from 1995 to about 2009. The stock, meanwhile, went sideways. The secular sideways trend was because the company wasn’t earning any more money than it was last year; in most cases, it was actually less! Unsurprisingly, investors didn’t rush to buy more shares. Look at the spike near the end of the chart. Early in 2014, the stock reached an all time high, and operating cash flow went down for the next year, as did revenue and earnings.
You now know that RGR’s income is very volatile, and there’s little sustained growth; you can see what that will do for investors in the stock.
We Can Chart an Industry, Sector, or Custom MetricYou want to know more: perhaps the stock wasn’t making more money because the sector is in decline. Let’s find out. We can total up all the income across all companies in each sector, and plot that (pink line). We will also do this for revenue (blue line) and cash flow (brown line).
The sector’s revenue kept increasing, along with income and cash flow, so that kills that theory. When we focus into the industry, we see that it still makes no difference. The operating cash flow (Blue), revenue (pink), and income (brown) are all going up.
Charting Computed ValuesWe can also look at RGR’s maximum drawdown. If you look down, you see we defined maximum drawdown (distance from the highest peak to the lowest valley) in our system for this example, to make it easy to follow. Notice that RGR has spent substantial time far below its all time high. The five year maximum drawdown is more typical of what an investor will see in Google Finance, as long charts aren’t popular. Either way, it doesn’t look good for RGR.
Comparing Charts Adds ClarityHow does that compare to a volatile stock that had better performance? Apple will serve as an example. Here is Apple, plotted with its maximum drawdowns, both five year and rolling. Next up is the earnings plot.
Look! The lines all move in the same direction! Perhaps Apple went up year after year because its earnings went up year after year. Notice that the early 2000s are the exception that prove the rule. Earnings, cash flow, and revenue all meandered during this time, and so did the stock price. When they started going up, so did Apple’s stock price.
Advanced Charting for Deep InsightWhat have we learned?
- Apple has a very nice chart.
- Ruger’s chart is not so nice. It is in a good industry, and sector, and yet it does not perform as well as its sector.
- Earnings, Revenue, and cashflow correspond with the stock price.
- You can learn much about a stock by looking at its charts.
- Equities Lab can do a variety of useful charts.