Lectra's (EPA:LSS) three-year earnings growth trails the solid shareholder returns
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 Lectra SA (EPA:LSS) share price has flown 144% in the last three years. Most would be happy with that. We note the stock price is up 4.2% in the last seven days.
On the back of a solid 7-day performance, let's check what role the company's fundamentals have played in driving long term shareholder returns.
View our latest analysis for Lectra
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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).
Lectra was able to grow its EPS at 8.6% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. In comparison, the 35% per year gain in the share price outpaces the EPS growth. This suggests that, as the business progressed over the last few years, it gained the confidence of market participants. It's not unusual to see the market 're-rate' a stock, after a few years of growth.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We know that Lectra has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? Check if analysts think Lectra will grow revenue in the future.
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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Lectra's TSR for the last 3 years was 155%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
Lectra shareholders are down 13% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 13%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 11%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. Before forming an opinion on Lectra you might want to consider these 3 valuation metrics.
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 French exchanges.
Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.
Find out whether Lectra is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.View the Free Analysis
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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.
Lectra SA designs smart industrial solutions for fashion, automotive, and furniture markets.
Undervalued with solid track record.