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Cargojet's (TSE:CJT) five-year earnings growth trails the 25% YoY shareholder returns

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Cargojet Inc. (TSE:CJT) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 14% in the last quarter. But that scarcely detracts from the really solid long term returns generated by the company over five years. It's fair to say most would be happy with 197% the gain in that time. Generally speaking the long term returns will give you a better idea of business quality than short periods can. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price. While the long term returns are impressive, we do have some sympathy for those who bought more recently, given the 21% drop, in the last year.

After a strong gain in the past week, it's worth seeing if longer term returns have been driven by improving fundamentals.

See our latest analysis for Cargojet

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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 five years of share price growth, Cargojet achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 86% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 24% over the same period. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days. Of course, with a P/E ratio of 112.06, the market remains optimistic.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. This free interactive report on Cargojet's earnings, revenue and cash flow 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 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. We note that for Cargojet the TSR over the last 5 years was 211%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Cargojet shareholders are down 20% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 3.1%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 25% per year over half a decade. 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. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Cargojet that you should be aware of before investing here.

Cargojet is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA 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.