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Environmental Group's (ASX:EGL) five-year total shareholder returns outpace the underlying earnings growth

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It's been a soft week for The Environmental Group Limited (ASX:EGL) shares, which are down 19%. But that does not change the realty that the stock's performance has been terrific, over five years. In fact, during that period, the share price climbed 862%. Impressive! Arguably, the recent fall is to be expected after such a strong rise. But the real question is whether the business fundamentals can improve over the long term. Anyone who held for that rewarding ride would probably be keen to talk about it.

Although Environmental Group has shed AU$19m from its market cap this week, let's take a look at its longer term fundamental trends and see if they've driven returns.

Check out our latest analysis for Environmental Group

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.

During the five years of share price growth, Environmental Group moved from a loss to profitability. Sometimes, the start of profitability is a major inflection point that can signal fast earnings growth to come, which in turn justifies very strong share price gains.

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

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

This free interactive report on Environmental Group's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between Environmental Group's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. Its history of dividend payouts mean that Environmental Group's TSR of 908% over the last 5 years is better than the share price return.

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that Environmental Group shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 614% over one year. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 59%. 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. 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. To that end, you should learn about the 4 warning signs we've spotted with Environmental Group (including 1 which doesn't sit too well with us) .

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 AU exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.