Investors in BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings (NYSE:BJ) have made a impressive return of 119% over the past three years

Simply Wall St
January 27, 2022
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It might seem bad, but the worst that can happen when you buy a stock (without leverage) is that its share price goes to zero. But if you buy shares in a really great company, you can more than double your money. To wit, the BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:BJ) share price has flown 119% in the last three years. That sort of return is as solid as granite. Then again, the 9.7% share price decline hasn't been so fun for shareholders. We note that the broader market is down 11% in the last month, and this may have impacted BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings' share price.

Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

View our latest analysis for BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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 three years of share price growth, BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings achieved compound earnings per share growth of 34% per year. We note that the 30% yearly (average) share price gain isn't too far from the EPS growth rate. Coincidence? Probably not. This observation indicates that the market's attitude to the business hasn't changed all that much. Rather, the share price has approximately tracked EPS growth.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

NYSE:BJ Earnings Per Share Growth January 27th 2022

We know that BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings shareholders have gained 20% (in total) over the last year. But the three year TSR of 30% per year is even better. 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. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings you should know about.

Of course BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

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