The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But on a lighter note, a good company can see its share price rise well over 100%. Long term Hilton Food Group plc (LON:HFG) shareholders would be well aware of this, since the stock is up 165% in five years. In the last week shares have slid back 2.6%.
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 imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
During five years of share price growth, Hilton Food Group achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 8.3% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 22% average annual increase in the share price. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did five years ago. That's not necessarily surprising considering the five-year track record of earnings growth.
The company's earnings per share (over time) are depicted in the image below.
This free interactive report on Hilton Food Group's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Hilton Food Group, it has a TSR of 200% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Hilton Food Group shareholders have received returns of 12% over twelve months (even including dividends) , which isn't far from the general market return. We should note here that the five-year TSR is more impressive, at 25% per year. Although the share price growth has slowed, the longer term story points to a business well worth watching. Before spending more time on Hilton Food Group it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.
If you are like me, then you will 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.
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.
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. Thank you for reading.
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