By buying an index fund, investors can approximate the average market return. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. For example, the The Alumasc Group plc (LON:ALU) share price is up 82% in the last three years, clearly besting the market decline of around 2.6% (not including dividends).
So let's assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 3 years and see if they've moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.
Alumasc Group was able to grow its EPS at 137% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. This EPS growth is higher than the 22% average annual increase in the share price. So one could reasonably conclude that the market has cooled on the stock. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 5.72.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It is of course excellent to see how Alumasc Group has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. Take a more thorough look at Alumasc Group's financial health with this free report on its balance sheet.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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 Alumasc Group, it has a TSR of 108% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 1.7% in the twelve months, Alumasc Group shareholders did even worse, losing 27% (even including dividends). However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 4% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Alumasc Group better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 4 warning signs for Alumasc Group (2 shouldn't be ignored) 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 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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