The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But on a lighter note, a good company can see its share price rise well over 100%. For example, the Magic Software Enterprises Ltd. (NASDAQ:MGIC) share price has soared 132% in the last half decade. Most would be very happy with that. In the last week shares have slid back 3.0%.
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
Magic Software Enterprises' earnings per share are down 0.8% per year, despite strong share price performance over five years.
By glancing at these numbers, we'd posit that the decline in earnings per share is not representative of how the business has changed over the years. Therefore, it's worth taking a look at other metrics to try to understand the share price movements.
We doubt the modest 1.5% dividend yield is attracting many buyers to the stock. On the other hand, Magic Software Enterprises' revenue is growing nicely, at a compound rate of 15% over the last five years. In that case, the company may be sacrificing current earnings per share to drive growth.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
Balance sheet strength is crucial. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.
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 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. We note that for Magic Software Enterprises the TSR over the last 5 years was 162%, 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
We're pleased to report that Magic Software Enterprises shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 66% over one year. That's including the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 21% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. 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. Even so, be aware that Magic Software Enterprises is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...
We will like Magic Software Enterprises 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 US exchanges.
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