While Simulations Plus, Inc. (NASDAQ:SLP) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 24% in the last quarter. But that does not change the realty that the stock's performance has been terrific, over five years. In fact, during that period, the share price climbed 659%. Impressive! So we don't think the recent decline in the share price means its story is a sad one. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price.
We love happy stories like this one. The company should be really proud of that performance!
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, Simulations Plus achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 16% per year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 50% per year, over the same period. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did five years ago. And that's hardly shocking given the track record of growth. This optimism is visible in its fairly high P/E ratio of 96.03.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Simulations Plus' TSR for the last 5 years was 704%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
Simulations Plus provided a TSR of 12% over the last twelve months. But that return falls short of the market. It's probably a good sign that the company has an even better long term track record, having provided shareholders with an annual TSR of 52% over five years. It may well be that this is a business worth popping on the watching, given the continuing positive reception, over time, from the market. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Simulations Plus better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should be aware of the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Simulations Plus .
Of course Simulations Plus 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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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.
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