The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But in contrast you can make much more than 100% if the company does well. For example, the Bravura Solutions Limited (ASX:BVS) share price has soared 105% in the last three years. That sort of return is as solid as granite.
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. 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.
During three years of share price growth, Bravura Solutions achieved compound earnings per share growth of 28% per year. This EPS growth is remarkably close to the 27% average annual increase in the share price. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time. Rather, the share price has approximately tracked EPS growth.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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 or spin-off. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Bravura Solutions the TSR over the last 3 years was 122%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Over the last year, Bravura Solutions shareholders took a loss of 31%, including dividends. In contrast the market gained about 3.1%. Of course the long term matters more than the short term, and even great stocks will sometimes have a poor year. Fortunately the longer term story is brighter, with total returns averaging about 30% per year over three years. The recent sell-off could be an opportunity if the business remains sound, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long-term growth trend. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Bravura Solutions better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Bravura Solutions (1 can't be ignored!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
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.
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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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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