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Arvida Group's (NZSE:ARV) investors will be pleased with their stellar 123% return over the last five years

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Generally speaking the aim of active stock picking is to find companies that provide returns that are superior to the market average. And the truth is, you can make significant gains if you buy good quality businesses at the right price. To wit, the Arvida Group share price has climbed 78% in five years, easily topping the market return of 40% (ignoring dividends). On the other hand, the more recent gains haven't been so impressive, with shareholders gaining just 17% , including dividends .

With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.

View our latest analysis for Arvida Group

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 way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

Over half a decade, Arvida Group managed to grow its earnings per share at 21% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 12% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days. The reasonably low P/E ratio of 8.62 also suggests market apprehension.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We know that Arvida Group has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.

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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Arvida Group the TSR over the last 5 years was 123%, 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

It's good to see that Arvida Group has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 17% in the last twelve months. Of course, that includes the dividend. Having said that, the five-year TSR of 17% a year, is even better. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. For instance, we've identified 4 warning signs for Arvida Group (2 don't sit too well with us) that 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 NZ exchanges.

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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