It might seem bad, but the worst that can happen when you buy a stock (without leverage) is that its share price goes to zero. But in contrast you can make much more than 100% if the company does well. For example, the Ashley Services Group Limited (ASX:ASH) share price has soared 192% in the last three years. How nice for those who held the stock! In more good news, the share price has risen -1.3% in thirty days.
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. 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.
During three years of share price growth, Ashley Services Group moved from a loss to profitability. Given the importance of this milestone, it's not overly surprising that the share price has increased strongly.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
Dive deeper into Ashley Services Group's key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Ashley Services Group's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. We note that for Ashley Services Group the TSR over the last 3 years was 249%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that Ashley Services Group shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 59% over one year. And that does include the dividend. There's no doubt those recent returns are much better than the TSR loss of 20% per year over five years. We generally put more weight on the long term performance over the short term, but the recent improvement could hint at a (positive) inflection point within the business. Keeping this in mind, a solid next step might be to take a look at Ashley Services Group's dividend track record. This free interactive graph is a great place to start.
We will like Ashley Services Group better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, 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 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.
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.