Passive investing in index funds can generate returns that roughly match the overall market. But you can do a lot better than that by buying good quality businesses for attractive prices. For example, the AB Industrivärden (publ) (STO:INDU A) share price is 66% higher than it was five years ago, which is more than the market average. The 2.9% share price rise over the last year is decent, but not great.
With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.
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.
During five years of share price growth, AB Industrivärden achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 14% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 11% average annual increase in the share price. So one could conclude that the broader market has become more cautious towards the stock. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 6.43.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that AB Industrivärden has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.
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 or spin-off. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for AB Industrivärden the TSR over the last 5 years was 84%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
AB Industrivärden provided a TSR of 5.5% over the last twelve months. But that was short of the market average. If we look back over five years, the returns are even better, coming in at 13% per year for five years. It's quite possible the business continues to execute with prowess, even as the share price gains are slowing. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for AB Industrivärden (1 is potentially serious) that you should be aware of.
For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on SE exchanges.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.