Long term investing can be life changing when you buy and hold the truly great businesses. While not every stock performs well, when investors win, they can win big. Don't believe it? Then look at the goeasy Ltd. (TSE:GSY) share price. It's 316% higher than it was five years ago. If that doesn't get you thinking about long term investing, we don't know what will. On top of that, the share price is up 14% in about a quarter. But this move may well have been assisted by the reasonably buoyant market (up 5.9% in 90 days).
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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, goeasy managed to grow its earnings per share at 30% a year. This EPS growth is reasonably close to the 33% average annual increase in the share price. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time. Indeed, it would appear the share price is reacting to the EPS.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. This free interactive report on goeasy'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). 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 goeasy the TSR over the last 5 years was 368%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that goeasy has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 15% in the last twelve months. That's including the dividend. However, that falls short of the 36% TSR per annum it has made for shareholders, each year, over five years. Potential buyers might understandably feel they've missed the opportunity, but it's always possible business is still firing on all cylinders. 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. Even so, be aware that goeasy is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those makes us a bit uncomfortable...
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 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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