When you buy shares in a company, it's worth keeping in mind the possibility that it could fail, and you could lose your money. But on the bright side, if you buy shares in a high quality company at the right price, you can gain well over 100%. For instance, the price of European Reliance General Insurance Company S.A. (ATH:EUPIC) stock is up an impressive 288% over the last five years. It's also good to see the share price up 33% over the last quarter. But this move may well have been assisted by the reasonably buoyant market (up 26% in 90 days).
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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.
Over half a decade, European Reliance General Insurance managed to grow its earnings per share at 10% a year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 31% per year, over the same period. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. And that's hardly shocking given the track record of growth.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on European Reliance General Insurance's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
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 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. In the case of European Reliance General Insurance, it has a TSR of 368% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that European Reliance General Insurance has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 5.4% in the last twelve months. Of course, that includes the dividend. Having said that, the five-year TSR of 36% a year, is even better. The pessimistic view would be that be that the stock has its best days behind it, but on the other hand the price might simply be moderating while the business itself continues to execute. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand European Reliance General Insurance better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with European Reliance General Insurance , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
But note: European Reliance General Insurance may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GR exchanges.
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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. 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.
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