These days it's easy to simply buy an index fund, and your returns should (roughly) match the market. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. For example, the Traton SE (ETR:8TRA) share price is up 58% in the last year, clearly besting the market return of around 44% (not including dividends). If it can keep that out-performance up over the long term, investors will do very well! Traton hasn't been listed for long, so it's still not clear if it is a long term winner.
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 the last year Traton saw its earnings per share (EPS) drop below zero. While some may see this as temporary, we're a skeptical bunch, and so we're a little surprised to see the share price go up. We might get a clue to explain the share price move by looking to other metrics.
We doubt the modest 1.1% dividend yield is doing much to support the share price. Unfortunately Traton's fell 16% over twelve months. So using a snapshot of key business metrics doesn't give us a good picture of why the market is bidding up the stock.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
Traton is well known by investors, and plenty of clever analysts have tried to predict the future profit levels. If you are thinking of buying or selling Traton stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst consensus estimates for future profits.
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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Traton, it has a TSR of 68% for the last year. 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
It's nice to see that Traton shareholders have gained 68% over the last year, including dividends. Unfortunately the share price is down 5.5% over the last quarter. It may simply be that the share price got ahead of itself, although there may have been fundamental developments that are weighing on it. 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. To that end, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Traton (including 1 which can't be ignored) .
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 DE 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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