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Did You Participate In Any Of Penske Automotive Group's (NYSE:PAG) Fantastic 118% Return ?

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The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Furthermore, you'd generally like to see the share price rise faster than the market But Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:PAG) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 91% over five years, which is below the market return. However, if you include the dividends then the return is market beating. However, more recent buyers should be happy with the increase of 76% over the last year.

See our latest analysis for Penske Automotive Group

In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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.

Over half a decade, Penske Automotive Group managed to grow its earnings per share at 13% a year. So the EPS growth rate is rather close to the annualized share price gain of 14% per year. This indicates that investor sentiment towards the company has not changed a great deal. In fact, the share price seems to largely reflect the EPS growth.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We know that Penske Automotive Group has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? This free report showing analyst revenue forecasts should help you figure out if the EPS growth can be sustained.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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 Penske Automotive Group, it has a TSR of 118% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that Penske Automotive Group has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 78% in the last twelve months. That's including the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 17%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with Penske Automotive Group , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are 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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