- United Kingdom
Investors in Sage Group (LON:SGE) have made a notable return of 31% over the past five years
Generally speaking the aim of active stock picking is to find companies that provide returns that are superior to the market average. Buying under-rated businesses is one path to excess returns. For example, long term The Sage Group plc (LON:SGE) shareholders have enjoyed a 16% share price rise over the last half decade, well in excess of the market return of around 2.1% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 15% in the last year , including dividends .
With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.
See our latest analysis for Sage Group
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
Over half a decade, Sage Group managed to grow its earnings per share at 1.4% a year. This EPS growth is lower than the 3% 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.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
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. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. As it happens, Sage Group's TSR for the last 5 years was 31%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that Sage Group shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 15% over one year. Of course, that includes the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 6% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Sage Group you should know about.
Sage Group is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with 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.
Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.
Find out whether Sage Group 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
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.
The Sage Group plc, together with its subsidiaries, provides technology solutions and services for small and medium businesses in North America, Northern Europe, and internationally.
Established dividend payer with moderate growth potential.