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Did You Miss Ferrari's (NYSE:RACE) Impressive 185% Share Price Gain?

Simply Wall St

The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. For example, the Ferrari N.V. (NYSE:RACE) share price has soared 185% in the last three years. How nice for those who held the stock! In the last week shares have slid back 1.7%.

Check out our latest analysis for Ferrari

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

Ferrari was able to grow its EPS at 28% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. In comparison, the 42% per year gain in the share price outpaces the EPS growth. This suggests that, as the business progressed over the last few years, it gained the confidence of market participants. It's not unusual to see the market 're-rate' a stock, after a few years of growth.

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

NYSE:RACE Past and Future Earnings, December 11th 2019

It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. This free interactive report on Ferrari's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Ferrari, it has a TSR of 192% for the last 3 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

Pleasingly, Ferrari's total shareholder return last year was 58%. That's including the dividend. That's better than the annualized TSR of 43% over the last three years. These improved returns may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. Before spending more time on Ferrari it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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.

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. Thank you for reading.