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By buying an index fund, investors can approximate the average market return. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. Just take a look at Alamos Gold Inc. (TSE:AGI), which is up 43%, over three years, soundly beating the market return of 17% (not including dividends).
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
During three years of share price growth, Alamos Gold achieved compound earnings per share growth of 86% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 13% average annual increase in the share price. 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).
We know that Alamos Gold has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? Take a more thorough look at Alamos Gold's financial health with this free 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Alamos Gold the TSR over the last 3 years was 46%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 40% in the last year, Alamos Gold shareholders lost 16% (even including dividends). However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 2% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
But note: Alamos Gold may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA exchanges.
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. 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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