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For many, the main point of investing in the stock market is to achieve spectacular returns. While the best companies are hard to find, but they can generate massive returns over long periods. To wit, the BE Semiconductor Industries N.V. (AMS:BESI) share price has soared 329% over five years. And this is just one example of the epic gains achieved by some long term investors. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 15% gain in the last three months. But this could be related to the strong market, which is up 11% in the last three months.
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, BE Semiconductor Industries managed to grow its earnings per share at 41% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 34% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems the market isn’t so enthusiastic about the stock these days.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We know that BE Semiconductor Industries has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? This free interactive report on BE Semiconductor Industries’s balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of BE Semiconductor Industries, it has a TSR of 470% 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
BE Semiconductor Industries shareholders are down 4.9% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 6.8%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn’t be so upset, since they would have made 42%, 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. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
We will like BE Semiconductor Industries 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 NL 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 email@example.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.