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. For example, the Deutsche Telekom AG (ETR:DTE) share price is up 26% in the last three years, slightly above the market return. Also positive was the solid 23% share price increase over the last twelve months.
Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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, Deutsche Telekom achieved compound earnings per share growth of 17% per year. The average annual share price increase of 8% is actually lower than the EPS growth. So it seems investors have become more cautious about the company, over time.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We know that Deutsche Telekom has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? Check if analysts think Deutsche Telekom will grow revenue in the future.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. We note that for Deutsche Telekom the TSR over the last 3 years was 42%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Deutsche Telekom shareholders gained a total return of 27% during the year. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it's actually better than the average return of 7% over half a decade This suggests the company might be improving over time. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. To that end, you should be aware of the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Deutsche Telekom .
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 DE exchanges.
If you’re looking to trade Deutsche Telekom, open an account with the lowest-cost* platform trusted by professionals, Interactive Brokers. Their clients from over 200 countries and territories trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account. Promoted
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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.