Investors can buy low cost index fund if they want to receive the average market return. But in any diversified portfolio of stocks, you'll see some that fall short of the average. For example, the Bilfinger SE (ETR:GBF) share price return of 14% over three years lags the market return in the same period. Looking at more recent returns, the stock is up 11% in a year.
The past week has proven to be lucrative for Bilfinger investors, so let's see if fundamentals drove the company's three-year performance.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
During three years of share price growth, Bilfinger moved from a loss to profitability. That would generally be considered a positive, so we'd expect the share price to be up.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that Bilfinger has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? If you are thinking of buying or selling Bilfinger stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.
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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Bilfinger, it has a TSR of 26% for the last 3 years. 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
We're pleased to report that Bilfinger shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 18% over one year. Of course, that includes the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 3% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Bilfinger better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Bilfinger (1 is concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
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. 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.