Infosys' (NSE:INFY) five-year total shareholder returns outpace the underlying earnings growth

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 13, 2022
NSEI:INFY
Source: Shutterstock

It might be of some concern to shareholders to see the Infosys Limited (NSE:INFY) share price down 13% in the last month. But in stark contrast, the returns over the last half decade have impressed. We think most investors would be happy with the 214% return, over that period. So while it's never fun to see a share price fall, it's important to look at a longer time horizon. Ultimately business performance will determine whether the stock price continues the positive long term trend.

In light of the stock dropping 4.8% in the past week, we want to investigate the longer term story, and see if fundamentals have been the driver of the company's positive five-year return.

See our latest analysis for Infosys

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. 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, Infosys managed to grow its earnings per share at 8.6% a year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 26% per year, over the same period. 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).

earnings-per-share-growth
NSEI:INFY Earnings Per Share Growth May 13th 2022

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Infosys, it has a TSR of 261% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Infosys shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 16% over the last year. That's including the dividend. However, that falls short of the 29% TSR per annum it has made for shareholders, each year, over five years. 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. 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. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Infosys that you should be aware of.

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 IN exchanges.

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