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Did You Participate In Any Of AES' (NYSE:AES) Fantastic 260% Return ?

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Simply Wall St
·3 min read
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The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But on the bright side, you can make far more than 100% on a really good stock. One great example is The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES) which saw its share price drive 198% higher over five years. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 32% gain in the last three months. But this could be related to the strong market, which is up 13% in the last three months.

View our latest analysis for AES

To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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).

During five years of share price growth, AES moved from a loss to profitability. On the other hand, it reported a trailing twelve months loss, suggesting it isn't reliably profitable. So we might find other metrics can better explain the share price movements.

It is not great to see that revenue has dropped by 5.9% per year over five years. So it seems one might have to take closer look at earnings and revenue trends to see how they might influence the share price.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for AES the TSR over the last 5 years was 260%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that AES shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 30% over one year. That's including the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 29%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. 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. Take risks, for example - AES has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit unpleasant) we think you should know about.

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.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.