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The five-year decline in earnings for Macquarie Telecom Group ASX:MAQ) isn't encouraging, but shareholders are still up 329% over that period

·3 min read

Macquarie Telecom Group Limited (ASX:MAQ) shareholders have seen the share price descend 16% over the month. 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 312%. Impressive! So we don't think the recent decline in the share price means its story is a sad one. Of course what matters most is whether the business can improve itself sustainably, thus justifying a higher price. Unfortunately not all shareholders will have held it for the long term, so spare a thought for those caught in the 20% decline over the last twelve months.

While this past week has detracted from the company's five-year return, let's look at the recent trends of the underlying business and see if the gains have been in alignment.

View our latest analysis for Macquarie Telecom 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...' 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.

Macquarie Telecom Group's earnings per share are down 10% per year, despite strong share price performance over five years.

Essentially, it doesn't seem likely that investors are focused on EPS. Because earnings per share don't seem to match up with the share price, we'll take a look at other metrics instead.

In contrast revenue growth of 6.6% per year is probably viewed as evidence that Macquarie Telecom Group is growing, a real positive. It's quite possible that management are prioritizing revenue growth over EPS growth at the moment.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

If you are thinking of buying or selling Macquarie Telecom Group stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.

What About The Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between Macquarie Telecom Group's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. 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. Dividends have been really beneficial for Macquarie Telecom Group shareholders, and that cash payout contributed to why its TSR of 329%, over the last 5 years, is better than the share price return.

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Macquarie Telecom Group shareholders are down 20% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 3.1%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 34% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Macquarie Telecom Group (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable) that you should be aware of.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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.

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