Generally speaking the aim of active stock picking is to find companies that provide returns that are superior to the market average. And the truth is, you can make significant gains if you buy good quality businesses at the right price. For example, the Hydratec Industries NV (AMS:HYDRA) share price is up 79% in the last 5 years, clearly besting the market return of around 45% (ignoring dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 42% in the last year.
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. 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.
Hydratec Industries' earnings per share are down 8.8% per year, despite strong share price performance over five years.
Essentially, it doesn't seem likely that investors are focused on EPS. Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.
On the other hand, Hydratec Industries' revenue is growing nicely, at a compound rate of 10% over the last five years. It's quite possible that management are prioritizing revenue growth over EPS growth at the moment.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
If you are thinking of buying or selling Hydratec Industries stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
Investors should note that there's a difference between Hydratec Industries' total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Its history of dividend payouts mean that Hydratec Industries' TSR of 105% over the last 5 years is better than the share price return.
A Different Perspective
Hydratec Industries shareholders are up 42% for the year. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. The silver lining is that the gain was actually better than the average annual return of 15% per year over five year. This could indicate that the company is winning over new investors, as it pursues its strategy. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Hydratec Industries better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 5 warning signs for Hydratec Industries (1 shouldn't be ignored) that you should be aware of.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on NL exchanges.
When trading Hydratec Industries or any other investment, use the platform considered by many to be the Professional's Gateway to the Worlds Market, Interactive Brokers. You get the lowest-cost* trading on stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account.
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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.