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When you buy a stock there is always a possibility that it could drop 100%. But on a lighter note, a good company can see its share price rise well over 100%. One great example is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) which saw its share price drive 117% higher over five years. It's down 1.3% in the last seven days.
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
Over half a decade, Apple managed to grow its earnings per share at 15% a year. This EPS growth is reasonably close to the 17% average annual increase in the share price. This indicates that investor sentiment towards the company has not changed a great deal. Indeed, it would appear the share price is reacting to the EPS.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that Apple has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? If you're interested, you could check this free report showing consensus revenue forecasts.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Apple the TSR over the last 5 years was 136%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Apple shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 7.2% over the last year. That's including the dividend. However, the TSR over five years, coming in at 19% per year, is even more impressive. The pessimistic view would be that be that the stock has its best days behind it, but on the other hand the price might simply be moderating while the business itself continues to execute. If you would like to research Apple 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 US 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 email@example.com. 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.