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Investing in CGI (TSE:GIB.A) five years ago would have delivered you a 55% gain

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When we invest, we're generally looking for stocks that outperform the market average. And while active stock picking involves risks (and requires diversification) it can also provide excess returns. For example, long term CGI Inc. (TSE:GIB.A) shareholders have enjoyed a 55% share price rise over the last half decade, well in excess of the market return of around 29% (not including dividends).

So let's assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 5 years and see if they've moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.

View our latest analysis for CGI

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just 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, CGI managed to grow its earnings per share at 10% a year. So the EPS growth rate is rather close to the annualized share price gain of 9% per year. This indicates that investor sentiment towards the company has not changed a great deal. Rather, the share price has approximately tracked EPS growth.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

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

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. This free interactive report on CGI's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

A Different Perspective

Investors in CGI had a tough year, with a total loss of 5.6%, against a market gain of about 7.4%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 9% per year over half a decade. 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. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of CGI by clicking this link.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA 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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