It might seem bad, but the worst that can happen when you buy a stock (without leverage) is that its share price goes to zero. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. To wit, the Edenred SA (EPA:EDEN) share price has flown 148% in the last three years. How nice for those who held the stock! And in the last month, the share price has gained -1.3%. But the price may well have benefitted from a buoyant market, since stocks have gained 6.7% in the last thirty days.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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).
Edenred was able to grow its EPS at 17% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. This EPS growth is lower than the 35% 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.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that Edenred 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 is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Edenred, it has a TSR of 168% 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
We're pleased to report that Edenred shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 38% over one year. That's including the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 19%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. Is Edenred cheap compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.
For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
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 email@example.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.