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CDL Investments New Zealand (NZSE:CDI) shareholders have earned a 15% CAGR over the last three years

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It hasn't been the best quarter for CDL Investments New Zealand Limited (NZSE:CDI) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 14% in that time. But don't let that distract from the very nice return generated over three years. In fact, the company's share price bested the return of its market index in that time, posting a gain of 33%.

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 CDL Investments New Zealand

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 the three years of share price growth, CDL Investments New Zealand actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) drop 3.7% per year.

Companies are not always focussed on EPS growth in the short term, and looking at how the share price has reacted, we don't think EPS is the most important metric for CDL Investments New Zealand at the moment. Therefore, it makes sense to look into other metrics.

It may well be that CDL Investments New Zealand revenue growth rate of 9.8% over three years has convinced shareholders to believe in a brighter future. In that case, the company may be sacrificing current earnings per share to drive growth, and maybe shareholder's faith in better days ahead will be rewarded.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

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

Balance sheet strength is crucial. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.

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. We note that for CDL Investments New Zealand the TSR over the last 3 years was 51%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 8.9% in the twelve months, CDL Investments New Zealand shareholders did even worse, losing 12% (even including dividends). 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. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 8%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. 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 2 warning signs with CDL Investments New Zealand , 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 NZ 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.