Earnings growth outpaced the 26% return delivered to Companhia Energética do Rio Grande do Norte - COSERN (BVMF:CSRN3) shareholders over the last year

Simply Wall St
February 24, 2022
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If you want to compound wealth in the stock market, you can do so by buying an index fund. But one can do better than that by picking better than average stocks (as part of a diversified portfolio). To wit, the Companhia Energética do Rio Grande do Norte - COSERN (BVMF:CSRN3) share price is 10% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market decline of around 14% (not including dividends) in the same period. So that should have shareholders smiling. On the other hand, longer term shareholders have had a tougher run, with the stock falling 0.9% in three years.

Since it's been a strong week for Companhia Energética do Rio Grande do Norte - COSERN shareholders, let's have a look at trend of the longer term fundamentals.

View our latest analysis for Companhia Energética do Rio Grande do Norte - COSERN

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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 the last year Companhia Energética do Rio Grande do Norte - COSERN grew its earnings per share (EPS) by 56%. This EPS growth is significantly higher than the 10% increase in the share price. Therefore, it seems the market isn't as excited about Companhia Energética do Rio Grande do Norte - COSERN as it was before. This could be an opportunity. The caution is also evident in the lowish P/E ratio of 5.36.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

BOVESPA:CSRN3 Earnings Per Share Growth February 24th 2022

Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.

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 incorporates the value of any spin-offs or 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. In the case of Companhia Energética do Rio Grande do Norte - COSERN, it has a TSR of 26% for the last 1 year. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Companhia Energética do Rio Grande do Norte - COSERN shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 26% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 8% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Companhia Energética do Rio Grande do Norte - COSERN (at least 1 which can't be ignored) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

Of course Companhia Energética do Rio Grande do Norte - COSERN 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 BR exchanges.

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