By buying an index fund, you can roughly match the market return with ease. But many of us dare to dream of bigger returns, and build a portfolio ourselves. For example, the Iluka Resources Limited (ASX:ILU) share price is up 30% in the last three years, clearly besting the market return of around 22% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 28% in the last year , including dividends .
In light of the stock dropping 4.8% in the past week, we want to investigate the longer term story, and see if fundamentals have been the driver of the company's positive three-year return.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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 three years of share price growth, Iluka Resources moved from a loss to profitability. That would generally be considered a positive, so we'd expect the share price to be up.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
It is of course excellent to see how Iluka Resources has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. If you are thinking of buying or selling Iluka Resources stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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 Iluka Resources, it has a TSR of 188% for the last 3 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
We're pleased to report that Iluka Resources shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 28% over one year. That's including the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 19% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. In the best case scenario, this 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 Iluka Resources better, we need to consider many other factors. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Iluka Resources (of which 1 is concerning!) you should know about.
Of course Iluka Resources may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on Australian 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.
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