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The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don’t use leverage) is 100% of your money. But on the bright side, if you buy shares in a high quality company at the right price, you can gain well over 100%. For example, the Total System Services, Inc. (NYSE:TSS) share price has soared 205% in the last half decade. Most would be very happy with that. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 13% gain in the last three months. But this could be related to the strong market, which is up 5.6% in the last three months.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
During five years of share price growth, Total System Services achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 20% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 25% average annual increase in the share price. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. And that’s hardly shocking given the track record of growth.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
This free interactive report on Total System Services’s earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Total System Services the TSR over the last 5 years was 218%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
We’re pleased to report that Total System Services shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 8.0% over one year. Of course, that includes the dividend. However, that falls short of the 26% TSR per annum it has made for shareholders, each year, over five years. The pessimistic view would be that be that the stock has its best days behind it, but on the other hand the price might simply be moderating while the business itself continues to execute. Before spending more time on Total System Services it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.
But note: Total System Services may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US 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.