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It might seem bad, but the worst that can happen when you buy a stock (without leverage) is that its share price goes to zero. But in contrast you can make much more than 100% if the company does well. For instance the Schaffer Corporation Limited (ASX:SFC) share price is 168% higher than it was three years ago. Most would be happy with that. In the last week the share price is up 1.1%.
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
Schaffer was able to grow its EPS at 45% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. We note that the 39% yearly (average) share price gain isn’t too far from the EPS growth rate. Coincidence? Probably not. This suggests that sentiment and expectations have not changed drastically. Au contraire, the share price change has arguably mimicked the EPS growth.
It is of course excellent to see how Schaffer has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. If you are thinking of buying or selling Schaffer stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Schaffer, it has a TSR of 199% 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
Schaffer provided a TSR of 7.1% over the last twelve months. But that return falls short of the market. On the bright side, the longer term returns (running at about 23% a year, over half a decade) look better. It may well be that this is a business worth popping on the watching, given the continuing positive reception, over time, from the market. Importantly, we haven’t analysed Schaffer’s dividend history. This free visual report on its dividends is a must-read if you’re thinking of buying.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU 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 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. Thank you for reading.