In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it’s worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But if you try your hand at stock picking, your risk returning less than the market. We regret to report that long term Advanced Share Registry Limited (ASX:ASW) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 19% in three years, versus a market return of about 31%.
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).
Advanced Share Registry saw its EPS decline at a compound rate of 8.7% per year, over the last three years. This fall in the EPS is worse than the 6.6% compound annual share price fall. This suggests that the market retains some optimism around long term earnings stability, despite past EPS declines.
The company’s earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
Dive deeper into Advanced Share Registry’s key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Advanced Share Registry’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 is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Advanced Share Registry, it has a TSR of -4.0% 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
Advanced Share Registry shareholders gained a total return of 8.3% during the year. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. It’s probably a good sign that the company has an even better long term track record, having provided shareholders with an annual TSR of 9.4% over five years. Maybe the share price is just taking a breather while the business executes on its growth strategy. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks, for example – Advanced Share Registry has 4 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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. Thank you for reading.