Constellation Software’s (TSE:CSU) Wonderful 364% Share Price Increase Shows How Capitalism Can Build Wealth

Long term investing can be life changing when you buy and hold the truly great businesses. While the best companies are hard to find, but they can generate massive returns over long periods. For example, the Constellation Software Inc. (TSE:CSU) share price is up a whopping 364% in the last half decade, a handsome return for long term holders. And this is just one example of the epic gains achieved by some long term investors. On top of that, the share price is up 12% in about a quarter. The company reported its financial results recently; you can catch up on the latest numbers by reading our company report.

Check out our latest analysis for Constellation Software

In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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).

Over half a decade, Constellation Software managed to grow its earnings per share at 33% a year. So the EPS growth rate is rather close to the annualized share price gain of 36% per year. Therefore one could conclude that sentiment towards the shares hasn’t morphed very much. Indeed, it would appear the share price is reacting to the EPS.

TSX:CSU Past and Future Earnings, August 9th 2019
TSX:CSU Past and Future Earnings, August 9th 2019

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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Constellation Software’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Constellation Software the TSR over the last 5 years was 396%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It’s good to see that Constellation Software has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 40% in the last twelve months. That’s including the dividend. That’s better than the annualised return of 38% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

Constellation Software is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing 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 CA exchanges.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.