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Despite the downward trend in earnings at Open Text (NASDAQ:OTEX) the stock lifts 3.2%, bringing five-year gains to 72%

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If you buy and hold a stock for many years, you'd hope to be making a profit. Better yet, you'd like to see the share price move up more than the market average. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Open Text Corporation (NASDAQ:OTEX) share price is up 58% in the last five years, that's less than the market return. On a brighter note, more newer shareholders are probably rather content with the 22% share price gain over twelve months.

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 Open Text

In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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.

During five years of share price growth, Open Text actually saw its EPS drop 0.4% per year.

So it's hard to argue that the earnings per share are the best metric to judge the company, as it may not be optimized for profits at this point. Therefore, it's worth taking a look at other metrics to try to understand the share price movements.

We doubt the modest 1.8% dividend yield is attracting many buyers to the stock. In contrast revenue growth of 11% per year is probably viewed as evidence that Open Text is growing, a real positive. In that case, the company may be sacrificing current earnings per share to drive growth.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

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

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. You can see what analysts are predicting for Open Text in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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 Open Text the TSR over the last 5 years was 72%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

Open Text provided a TSR of 24% over the last twelve months. But that was short of the market average. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it's actually better than the average return of 11% over half a decade This could indicate that the company is winning over new investors, as it pursues its strategy. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. To that end, you should be aware of the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Open Text .

Open Text 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 US exchanges.

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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