If You Had Bought Legrand (EPA:LR) Shares Five Years Ago You’d Have Made 30%

If you want to compound wealth in the stock market, you can do so by buying an index fund. But in our experience, buying the right stocks can give your wealth a significant boost. For example, the Legrand SA (EPA:LR) share price is 30% higher than it was five years ago, which is more than the market average. In comparison, the share price is down 5.8% in a year.

See our latest analysis for Legrand

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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 five years of share price growth, Legrand achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 7.6% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 5.4% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

ENXTPA:LR Past and Future Earnings, March 26th 2019
ENXTPA:LR Past and Future Earnings, March 26th 2019

It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Legrand’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Legrand, it has a TSR of 45% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 6.7% in the last year, Legrand shareholders lost 3.9% (even including dividends). However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn’t be so upset, since they would have made 7.7%, 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. Is Legrand cheap compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

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 FR 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.