By buying an index fund, you can roughly match the market return with ease. But many of us dare to dream of bigger returns, and build a portfolio ourselves. For example, SFS Group AG (VTX:SFSN) shareholders have seen the share price rise 34% over three years, well in excess of the market return (25%, not including dividends). On the other hand, the returns haven't been quite so good recently, with shareholders up just 3.9% , including dividends .
Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.
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 three years of share price growth, SFS Group achieved compound earnings per share growth of 8.2% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 10% average annual increase in the share price. This indicates that the market is feeling more optimistic on the stock, after the last few years of progress. It is quite common to see investors become enamoured with a business, after a few years of solid progress.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that SFS Group has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? This free report showing analyst revenue forecasts should help you figure out if the EPS growth can be sustained.
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 incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of SFS Group, it has a TSR of 43% 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
SFS Group shareholders gained a total return of 3.9% during the year. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. On the bright side, the longer term returns (running at about 7% a year, over half a decade) look better. Maybe the share price is just taking a breather while the business executes on its growth strategy. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand SFS Group better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for SFS Group you should know about.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will 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.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.