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Despite shrinking by US$285m in the past week, Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure (NASDAQ:AY) shareholders are still up 97% over 5 years

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Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure plc (NASDAQ:AY) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 10% in the last quarter. On the bright side the share price is up over the last half decade. However we are not very impressed because the share price is only up 47%, less than the market return of 59%. While the long term returns are impressive, we do have some sympathy for those who bought more recently, given the 14% drop, in the last year.

Although Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure has shed US$285m from its market cap this week, let's take a look at its longer term fundamental trends and see if they've driven returns.

Check out our latest analysis for Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

During five years of share price growth, Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 13% per year. We note, however, that extraordinary items have impacted earnings. This EPS growth is higher than the 8% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

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

We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure, it has a TSR of 97% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

While it's never nice to take a loss, Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure shareholders can take comfort that , including dividends,their trailing twelve month loss of 10.0% wasn't as bad as the market loss of around 20%. Of course, the long term returns are far more important and the good news is that over five years, the stock has returned 15% for each year. It could be that the business is just facing some short term problems, but shareholders should keep a close eye on the fundamentals. 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. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure that you should be aware of.

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.

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.