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, GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft (ETR:G1A) shareholders have seen the share price rise 36% over three years, well in excess of the market decline (3.6%, not including dividends).
Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.
View our latest analysis for GEA Group
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
GEA Group was able to grow its EPS at 58% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. The average annual share price increase of 11% is actually lower than the EPS growth. Therefore, it seems the market has moderated its expectations for growth, somewhat.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We know that GEA Group has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? If you are thinking of buying or selling GEA Group stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for GEA Group the TSR over the last 3 years was 48%, 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
Although it hurts that GEA Group returned a loss of 7.0% in the last twelve months, the broader market was actually worse, returning a loss of 13%. Of course, the long term returns are far more important and the good news is that over five years, the stock has returned 2% for each year. In the best case scenario the last year is just a temporary blip on the journey to a brighter future. Before forming an opinion on GEA Group you might want to consider these 3 valuation metrics.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on DE exchanges.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.
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