One simple way to benefit from the stock market is to buy an index fund. But many of us dare to dream of bigger returns, and build a portfolio ourselves. Just take a look at Recticel SA/NV (EBR:REC), which is up 37%, over three years, soundly beating the market return of -5.9% (not including dividends). On the other hand, the returns haven't been quite so good recently, with shareholders up just 29% , including dividends .
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 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.
During three years of share price growth, Recticel achieved compound earnings per share growth of 19% per year. The average annual share price increase of 11% is actually lower than the EPS growth. So one could reasonably conclude that the market has cooled on the stock.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
Dive deeper into Recticel's key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Recticel's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
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 Recticel the TSR over the last 3 years was 45%, 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
It's nice to see that Recticel shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 29% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 12%. 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. Keeping this in mind, a solid next step might be to take a look at Recticel's dividend track record. This free interactive graph is a great place to start.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on BE exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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