Did You Miss AUB Group’s (ASX:AUB) 60% Share Price Gain?

One simple way to benefit from the stock market is to buy an index fund. But many of us dare to dream of bigger returns, and build a portfolio ourselves. Just take a look at AUB Group Limited (ASX:AUB), which is up 60%, over three years, soundly beating the market return of 22% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven’t been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 2.9% in the last year, including dividends.

See our latest analysis for AUB Group

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

Over the last three years, AUB Group failed to grow earnings per share, which fell 3.0% (annualized). Companies are not always focussed on EPS growth in the short term, and looking at how the share price has reacted, we don’t think EPS is the most important metric for AUB Group at the moment. Since the change in EPS doesn’t seem to correlate with the change in share price, it’s worth taking a look at other metrics.

It may well be that AUB Group revenue growth rate of 8.7% over three years has convinced shareholders to believe in a brighter future. If the company is being managed for the long term good, today’s shareholders might be right to hold on.

Depicted in the graphic below, you’ll see revenue and earnings over time. If you want more detail, you can click on the chart itself.

ASX:AUB Income Statement, March 16th 2019
ASX:AUB Income Statement, March 16th 2019

Balance sheet strength is crucual. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.

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 discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, AUB Group’s TSR for the last 3 years was 81%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

AUB Group provided a TSR of 2.9% over the last twelve months. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. If we look back over five years, the returns are even better, coming in at 8.5% per year for five years. It’s quite possible the business continues to execute with prowess, even as the share price gains are slowing. Before spending more time on AUB Group it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.

Of course AUB 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 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 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.