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The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But on the bright side, if you buy shares in a high quality company at the right price, you can gain well over 100%. For example, the Rural Funds Group (ASX:RFF) share price has soared 155% in the last half decade. Most would be very happy with that. In the last week the share price is up 1.4%.
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.
During five years of share price growth, Rural Funds Group actually saw its EPS drop 13% per year. Essentially, it doesn’t seem likely that investors are focused on EPS. 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.
In fact, the dividend has increased over time, which is a positive. Maybe dividend investors have helped support the share price. The revenue growth of about 28% per year might also encourage buyers.
You can see how revenue and earnings have changed over time in the image below, (click on the chart to see cashflow).
You can see how its financial situation has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Rural Funds Group, it has a TSR of 273% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
We’re pleased to report that Rural Funds Group shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 13% over one year. That’s including the dividend. Having said that, the five-year TSR of 30% a year, is even better. Potential buyers might understandably feel they’ve missed the opportunity, but it’s always possible business is still firing on all cylinders. Before spending more time on Rural Funds Group it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.
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 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.