One simple way to benefit from the stock market is to buy an index fund. But if you choose individual stocks with prowess, you can make superior returns. Just take a look at Gujarat Gas Limited (NSE:GUJGAS), which is up 40%, over three years, soundly beating the market return of 12% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 14% in the last year, including dividends.
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.
Gujarat Gas was able to grow its EPS at 41% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. The average annual share price increase of 12% is actually lower than the EPS growth. So it seems investors have become more cautious about the company, over time.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
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. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that Gujarat Gas rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 14% over the last year. And yes, that does include the dividend. So this year's TSR was actually better than the three-year TSR (annualized) of 12%. These improved returns may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. Before deciding if you like the current share price, check how Gujarat Gas scores on these 3 valuation metrics.
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 IN exchanges.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.