Does Ultra Electronics Holdings' (LON:ULE) Share Price Gain of 25% Match Its Business Performance?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 20, 2021
LSE:ULE
Source: Shutterstock

By buying an index fund, you can roughly match the market return with ease. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. For example, the Ultra Electronics Holdings plc (LON:ULE) share price is up 25% in the last three years, clearly besting the market decline of around 2.2% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 8.2% in the last year , including dividends .

View our latest analysis for Ultra Electronics Holdings

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.

Ultra Electronics Holdings was able to grow its EPS at 21% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. This EPS growth is higher than the 8% average annual increase in the share price. 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).

earnings-per-share-growth
LSE:ULE Earnings Per Share Growth May 21st 2021

It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. This free interactive report on Ultra Electronics Holdings' earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Ultra Electronics Holdings' TSR for the last 3 years was 36%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

Ultra Electronics Holdings shareholders gained a total return of 8.2% during the year. But that return falls short of the market. The silver lining is that the gain was actually better than the average annual return of 6% per year over five year. It is possible that returns will improve along with the business fundamentals. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares - and the price they paid.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB exchanges.

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