Buying shares in the best businesses can build meaningful wealth for you and your family. While the best companies are hard to find, but they can generate massive returns over long periods. To wit, the B2Gold Corp. (TSE:BTO) share price has soared 362% over five years. And this is just one example of the epic gains achieved by some long term investors. In the last week shares have slid back 2.4%.
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 the five years of share price growth, B2Gold moved from a loss to profitability. That kind of transition can be an inflection point that justifies a strong share price gain, just as we have seen here. Given that the company made a profit three years ago, but not five years ago, it is worth looking at the share price returns over the last three years, too. Indeed, the B2Gold share price has gained 145% in three years. In the same period, EPS is up 89% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 35% average annual increase in the share price over the same three years. So you might conclude the market is a little more cautious about the stock, these days.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on B2Gold'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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for B2Gold the TSR over the last 5 years was 369%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that B2Gold shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 87% over one year. That's including the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 36% 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. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand B2Gold better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for B2Gold you should be aware of.
B2Gold 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 CA exchanges.
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. 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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