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The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. But on the bright side, you can make far more than 100% on a really good stock. One great example is Royal Gold, Inc. (NASDAQ:RGLD) which saw its share price drive 139% higher over five years. It's down 2.7% in the last seven days.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
Over half a decade, Royal Gold managed to grow its earnings per share at 91% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 19% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. This free interactive report on Royal Gold's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Royal Gold's TSR for the last 5 years was 154%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
Royal Gold provided a TSR of 2.4% over the last twelve months. But that return falls short of the market. If we look back over five years, the returns are even better, coming in at 20% per year for five years. It may well be that this is a business worth popping on the watching, given the continuing positive reception, over time, from the market. 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 Royal Gold (1 doesn't sit too well with us) that you should be aware of.
We will like Royal Gold better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
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. 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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