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Does Warehouse Group's (NZSE:WHS) Share Price Gain of 38% Match Its Business Performance?

Simply Wall St

Passive investing in index funds can generate returns that roughly match the overall market. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. To wit, the The Warehouse Group Limited (NZSE:WHS) share price is 38% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 23% (not including dividends) in the same period. If it can keep that out-performance up over the long term, investors will do very well! However, the longer term returns haven't been so impressive, with the stock up just 1.8% in the last three years.

See our latest analysis for Warehouse Group

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

During the last year Warehouse Group grew its earnings per share (EPS) by 145%. It's fair to say that the share price gain of 38% did not keep pace with the EPS growth. So it seems like the market has cooled on Warehouse Group, despite the growth. Interesting.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

NZSE:WHS Past and Future Earnings, January 15th 2020

We know that Warehouse Group has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? If you're interested, you could check this free report showing consensus revenue 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 incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Warehouse Group, it has a TSR of 50% for the last year. 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 nice to see that Warehouse Group shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 50% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 8.9% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. 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. Be aware that Warehouse Group is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...

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 NZ 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.