If You Had Bought Aptitude Software Group (LON:APTD) Shares Three Years Ago You’d Have Made 165%

The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But in contrast you can make much more than 100% if the company does well. To wit, the Aptitude Software Group plc (LON:APTD) share price has flown 165% in the last three years. Most would be happy with that.

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See our latest analysis for Aptitude Software Group

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.

Aptitude Software Group was able to grow its EPS at 55% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. The average annual share price increase of 38% is actually lower than the EPS growth. So one could reasonably conclude that the market has cooled on the stock.

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

LSE:APTD Past and Future Earnings, May 16th 2019
LSE:APTD Past and Future Earnings, May 16th 2019

We know that Aptitude Software Group has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? If you are thinking of buying or selling Aptitude Software Group stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Aptitude Software Group the TSR over the last 3 years was 179%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Aptitude Software Group shareholders are down 5.2% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that’s worse than the broader market decline of 0.8%. Having said that, it’s inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Longer term investors wouldn’t be so upset, since they would have made 32%, 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. Before forming an opinion on Aptitude Software Group you might want to consider these 3 valuation metrics.

We will like Aptitude Software Group better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

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