Did You Miss Carlo Gavazzi Holding’s 31% Share Price Gain?

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Vanguard founder Jack Bogle helped spearhead the low-cost index fund, putting average returns within reach of every investor. But you can make better returns by buying undervalued shares. To wit, Carlo Gavazzi Holding AG (VTX:GAV) shares are up 31% in three years, besting the market return. In contrast, the stock is actually down 19% in the last year, suggesting a lack of positive momentum.

Check out our latest analysis for Carlo Gavazzi Holding

To quote Buffett, ‘Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace…’ One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company’s share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

During the three years of share price growth, Carlo Gavazzi Holding actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) drop 10.0% per year. So we doubt that the market is looking to EPS for its main judge of the company’s value. Given this situation, it makes sense to look at other metrics too.

We doubt the dividend payments explain the share price rise, since we don’t see any improvement in that regard. It’s much more likely that the fact that Carlo Gavazzi Holding has been growing revenue at 5.5% a year is seen as a genuine positive. It could be that investors are content with the revenue growth on the basis that the company isn’t really focussed on profits just yet. And that might explain the higher price.

The graphic below shows how revenue and earnings have changed as management guided the business forward. If you want to see cashflow, you can click on the chart.

SWX:GAV Income Statement, February 22nd 2019
SWX:GAV Income Statement, February 22nd 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?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Carlo Gavazzi Holding, it has a TSR of 49% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

Investors in Carlo Gavazzi Holding had a tough year, with a total loss of 16% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 4.5%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn’t be so upset, since they would have made 9.1%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. Before forming an opinion on Carlo Gavazzi Holding you might want to consider the cold hard cash it pays as a dividend. This free chart tracks its dividend over time.

If you would prefer to check out another company — one with potentially superior financials — then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CH 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.