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Does DFS Furniture's (LON:DFS) Share Price Gain of 25% Match Its Business Performance?

Simply Wall St

Passive investing in index funds can generate returns that roughly match the overall market. But investors can boost returns by picking market-beating companies to own shares in. To wit, the DFS Furniture plc (LON:DFS) share price is 25% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 8.3% (not including dividends) in the same period. If it can keep that out-performance up over the long term, investors will do very well! The longer term returns have not been as good, with the stock price only 17% higher than it was three years ago.

Check out our latest analysis for DFS Furniture

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 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 the last twelve months, DFS Furniture actually shrank its EPS by 5.3%.

This means it's unlikely the market is judging the company based on earnings growth. Indeed, when EPS is declining but the share price is up, it often means the market is considering other factors.

We think that the revenue growth of 15% could have some investors interested. We do see some companies suppress earnings in order to accelerate revenue growth.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

LSE:DFS Income Statement, February 9th 2020

This free interactive report on DFS Furniture's balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, DFS Furniture's TSR for the last year was 31%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that DFS Furniture rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 31% over the last year. That's including the dividend. That's better than the annualized TSR of 12% 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. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand DFS Furniture better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for DFS Furniture that you should be aware of.

We will like DFS Furniture 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 GB 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.