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By buying an index fund, you can roughly match the market return with ease. But if you buy good businesses at attractive prices, your portfolio returns could exceed the average market return. For example, N.V. Nederlandsche Apparatenfabriek Nedap (AMS:NEDAP) shareholders have seen the share price rise 59% over three years, well in excess of the market return (48%).
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company’s share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
N.V. Nederlandsche Apparatenfabriek Nedap was able to grow its EPS at 56% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. This EPS growth is higher than the 17% average annual increase in the share price. So one could reasonably conclude that the market has cooled on the stock.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
It is of course excellent to see how N.V. Nederlandsche Apparatenfabriek Nedap has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. Take a more thorough look at N.V. Nederlandsche Apparatenfabriek Nedap’s financial health with this free report on its balance sheet.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, N.V. Nederlandsche Apparatenfabriek Nedap’s TSR for the last 3 years was 80%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Investors in N.V. Nederlandsche Apparatenfabriek Nedap had a tough year, with a total loss of 4.8% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 5.6%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 14% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. Importantly, we haven’t analysed N.V. Nederlandsche Apparatenfabriek Nedap’s dividend history. This free visual report on its dividends is a must-read if you’re thinking of buying.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.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.