Stock pickers are generally looking for stocks that will outperform the broader market. And the truth is, you can make significant gains if you buy good quality businesses at the right price. For example, long term Deutsche Telekom AG (FRA:DTE) shareholders have enjoyed a 23% share price rise over the last half decade, well in excess of the market return of around 14% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 15% in the last year, including dividends.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just 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, Deutsche Telekom achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 17% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 4.3% over the same period. So one could conclude that the broader market has become more cautious towards the stock.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Deutsche Telekom the TSR over the last 5 years was 55%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Deutsche Telekom shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 15% over the last year. That's including the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 9.2% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. Keeping this in mind, a solid next step might be to take a look at Deutsche Telekom's dividend track record. This free interactive graph is a great place to start.
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Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on DE exchanges.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.