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Freedom Foods Group (ASX:FNP) Shareholders Booked A 48% Gain In The Last Five Years

Simply Wall St
·4 mins read

Generally speaking the aim of active stock picking is to find companies that provide returns that are superior to the market average. And while active stock picking involves risks (and requires diversification) it can also provide excess returns. To wit, the Freedom Foods Group share price has climbed 48% in five years, easily topping the market return of 17% (ignoring dividends).

See our latest analysis for Freedom Foods Group

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 way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

During five years of share price growth, Freedom Foods Group actually saw its EPS drop 12% per year.

This means it's unlikely the market is judging the company based on earnings growth. Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.

We doubt the modest 1.1% dividend yield is attracting many buyers to the stock. On the other hand, Freedom Foods Group's revenue is growing nicely, at a compound rate of 35% over the last five years. In that case, the company may be sacrificing current earnings per share to drive growth.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

ASX:FNP Income Statement, February 5th 2020
ASX:FNP Income Statement, February 5th 2020

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. If you are thinking of buying or selling Freedom Foods Group stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

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. As it happens, Freedom Foods Group's TSR for the last 5 years was 57%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Freedom Foods Group shareholders are down 9.1% for the year (even including dividends) , but the market itself is up 20%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 9.5% 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. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Freedom Foods Group you should be aware of, and 1 of them makes us a bit uncomfortable.

Freedom Foods Group is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU 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.