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Investors in Ocean Wilsons Holdings (LON:OCN) have made a decent return of 50% over the past three years

Buying a low-cost index fund will get you the average market return. But across the board there are plenty of stocks that underperform the market. That's what has happened with the Ocean Wilsons Holdings Limited (LON:OCN) share price. It's up 24% over three years, but that is below the market return. Unfortunately, the share price has fallen 0.5% over twelve months.

So let's investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

View our latest analysis for Ocean Wilsons Holdings

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just 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.

During three years of share price growth, Ocean Wilsons Holdings achieved compound earnings per share growth of 8.3% per year. However, extraordinary items have impacted recent EPS numbers. We note that the 7% yearly (average) share price gain isn't too far from the EPS growth rate. Coincidence? Probably not. This suggests that sentiment and expectations have not changed drastically. Rather, the share price has approximately tracked EPS growth.

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 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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Ocean Wilsons Holdings' earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Ocean Wilsons Holdings' TSR for the last 3 years was 50%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Ocean Wilsons Holdings shareholders are up 5.4% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it's actually better than the average return of 2% over half a decade This could indicate that the company is winning over new investors, as it pursues its strategy. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Ocean Wilsons Holdings better, we need to consider many other factors. Even so, be aware that Ocean Wilsons Holdings is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is significant...

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 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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