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Base Resources (ASX:BSE) shareholders have earned a 26% CAGR over the last three years

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One simple way to benefit from the stock market is to buy an index fund. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. For example, the Base Resources Limited (ASX:BSE) share price is up 38% in the last three years, clearly besting the market return of around 31% (not including dividends). On the other hand, the returns haven't been quite so good recently, with shareholders up just 42% , including dividends .

With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.

See our latest analysis for Base Resources

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...' One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

During the three years of share price growth, Base Resources actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) drop 36% per year.

Thus, it seems unlikely that the market is focussed on EPS growth at the moment. Given this situation, it makes sense to look at other metrics too.

Interestingly, the dividend has increased over time; so that may have given the share price a boost. Sometimes yield-chasing investors will flock to a company if they think the dividend can grow over time.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. In the case of Base Resources, it has a TSR of 98% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Base Resources shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 42% over the last year. That's including the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 15% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Base Resources you should be aware of, and 1 of them is a bit concerning.

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 AU exchanges.

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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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