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By buying an index fund, you can roughly match the market return with ease. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. Just take a look at Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. (NASDAQ:GILT), which is up 87%, over three years, soundly beating the market return of 43% (not including dividends). On the other hand, the returns haven't been quite so good recently, with shareholders up just 1.4%, including dividends.
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. 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).
Gilat Satellite Networks became profitable within the last three years. 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's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Gilat Satellite Networks's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Gilat Satellite Networks's TSR for the last 3 years was 97%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Gilat Satellite Networks shareholders gained a total return of 1.4% during the year. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. If we look back over five years, the returns are even better, coming in at 13% per year for five years. It may well be that this is a business worth popping on the watching, given the continuing positive reception, over time, from the market. Keeping this in mind, a solid next step might be to take a look at Gilat Satellite Networks's dividend track record. This free interactive graph is a great place to start.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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. Thank you for reading.