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Bathurst Resources Limited (ASX:BRL) shareholders might understandably be very concerned that the share price has dropped 33% in the last quarter. But that scarcely detracts from the really solid long term returns generated by the company over five years. Indeed, the share price is up an impressive 257% in that time. So while it's never fun to see a share price fall, it's important to look at a longer time horizon. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean it's cheap now. Unfortunately not all shareholders will have held it for the long term, so spare a thought for those caught in the 58% decline over the last twelve months.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
During the last half decade, Bathurst Resources became profitable. Sometimes, the start of profitability is a major inflection point that can signal fast earnings growth to come, which in turn justifies very strong share price gains.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that Bathurst Resources has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? If you are thinking of buying or selling Bathurst Resources stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.
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. As it happens, Bathurst Resources' TSR for the last 5 years was 268%, 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
We regret to report that Bathurst Resources shareholders are down 57% for the year (even including dividends) . Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 8.4%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 30%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 4 warning signs with Bathurst Resources , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
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 AU exchanges.
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. 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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