Judges Scientific plc (LON:JDG) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 14% in the last quarter. But in stark contrast, the returns over the last half decade have impressed. Indeed, the share price is up an impressive 278% in that time. Generally speaking the long term returns will give you a better idea of business quality than short periods can. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price.
Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.
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...' 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.
Over half a decade, Judges Scientific managed to grow its earnings per share at 30% a year. That makes the EPS growth particularly close to the yearly share price growth of 30%. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time. Indeed, it would appear the share price is reacting to the EPS.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Judges Scientific, it has a TSR of 314% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Although it hurts that Judges Scientific returned a loss of 4.7% in the last twelve months, the broader market was actually worse, returning a loss of 9.9%. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 33%, each year, over five years. It could be that the business is just facing some short term problems, but shareholders should keep a close eye on the fundamentals. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Judges Scientific better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for Judges Scientific you should be aware of.
Of course Judges Scientific may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB 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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