The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But on the bright side, if you buy shares in a high quality company at the right price, you can gain well over 100%. For example, the Koninklijke DSM N.V. (AMS:DSM) share price has soared 117% in the last half decade. Most would be very happy with that. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 10% gain in the last three months.
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 five years of share price growth, Koninklijke DSM achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 38% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 17% over the same period. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We know that Koninklijke DSM has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? This free interactive report on Koninklijke DSM's balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Koninklijke DSM, it has a TSR of 149% for the last 5 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
It's good to see that Koninklijke DSM has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 29% in the last twelve months. That's including the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 20% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. If you would like to research Koninklijke DSM in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on NL exchanges.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.