Stock Analysis

Alexander Forbes Group Holdings' (JSE:AFH) three-year earnings growth trails the 33% YoY shareholder returns

JSE:AFH
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By buying an index fund, you can roughly match the market return with ease. But if you buy good businesses at attractive prices, your portfolio returns could exceed the average market return. For example, the Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Limited (JSE:AFH) share price is up 93% in the last three years, clearly besting the market decline of around 2.3% (not including dividends). On the other hand, the returns haven't been quite so good recently, with shareholders up just 48%, including dividends.

The past week has proven to be lucrative for Alexander Forbes Group Holdings investors, so let's see if fundamentals drove the company's three-year performance.

Check out our latest analysis for Alexander Forbes Group 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. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

Alexander Forbes Group Holdings was able to grow its EPS at 14% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. In comparison, the 25% per year gain in the share price outpaces the EPS growth. This suggests that, as the business progressed over the last few years, it gained the confidence of market participants. It is quite common to see investors become enamoured with a business, after a few years of solid progress.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
JSE:AFH Earnings Per Share Growth June 12th 2024

This free interactive report on Alexander Forbes Group Holdings' earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Alexander Forbes Group Holdings' TSR for the last 3 years was 138%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that Alexander Forbes Group Holdings has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 48% in the last twelve months. Of course, that includes the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 16% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for Alexander Forbes Group Holdings you should be aware of.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.

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

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Alexander Forbes Group Holdings is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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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.