It might be of some concern to shareholders to see the discoverIE Group plc (LON:DSCV) share price down 14% in the last month. But that doesn’t change the fact that the returns over the last three years have been very strong. The share price marched upwards over that time, and is now 125% higher than it was. To some, the recent share price pullback wouldn’t be surprising after such a good run. The fundamental business performance will ultimately dictate whether the top is in, or if this is a stellar buying opportunity.
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 flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
discoverIE Group was able to grow its EPS at 43% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. This EPS growth is higher than the 31% average annual increase in the share price. So one could reasonably conclude that the market has cooled on the stock.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
It is of course excellent to see how discoverIE Group has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. In the case of discoverIE Group, it has a TSR of 141% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
It’s good to see that discoverIE Group has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 27% in the last twelve months. And that does include the dividend. That’s better than the annualised return of 16% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. 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 risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we’ve spotted 2 warning signs for discoverIE Group you should know about.
Of course discoverIE Group may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB exchanges.
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