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Descartes Systems Group's (TSE:DSG) five-year total shareholder returns outpace the underlying earnings growth

The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. But on the bright side, you can make far more than 100% on a really good stock. One great example is The Descartes Systems Group Inc. (TSE:DSG) which saw its share price drive 133% higher over five years. Unfortunately, though, the stock has dropped 4.1% over a week.

Although Descartes Systems Group has shed US$328m from its market cap this week, let's take a look at its longer term fundamental trends and see if they've driven returns.

See our latest analysis for Descartes Systems Group

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 five years of share price growth, Descartes Systems Group achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 26% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 18% average annual increase in the share price. So one could conclude that the broader market has become more cautious towards the stock. Of course, with a P/E ratio of 63.06, the market remains optimistic.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover 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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Descartes Systems Group's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 1.9% in the twelve months, Descartes Systems Group shareholders did even worse, losing 17%. 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 18%, 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. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Descartes Systems Group by clicking this link.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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.

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