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Hamilton Lane's (NASDAQ:HLNE) five-year earnings growth trails the impressive shareholder returns

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It hasn't been the best quarter for Hamilton Lane Incorporated (NASDAQ:HLNE) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 11% in that time. But that scarcely detracts from the really solid long term returns generated by the company over five years. In fact, the share price is 205% higher today. To some, the recent pullback wouldn't be surprising after such a fast rise. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price. While the long term returns are impressive, we do have some sympathy for those who bought more recently, given the 24% drop, in the last year.

Since it's been a strong week for Hamilton Lane shareholders, let's have a look at trend of the longer term fundamentals.

View our latest analysis for Hamilton Lane

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.

Over half a decade, Hamilton Lane managed to grow its earnings per share at 158% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 25% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

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

It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. This free interactive report on Hamilton Lane'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. 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. As it happens, Hamilton Lane's TSR for the last 5 years was 236%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Hamilton Lane shareholders are down 22% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 19%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 27%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Hamilton Lane you should be aware of.

We will like Hamilton Lane 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.

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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