One simple way to benefit from the stock market is to buy an index fund. But many of us dare to dream of bigger returns, and build a portfolio ourselves. For example, the CapitaLand Limited (SGX:C31) share price is up 16% in the last three years, clearly besting the market return of around 3.2% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 16% 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.
CapitaLand was able to grow its EPS at 17% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. The average annual share price increase of 5.1% is actually lower than the EPS growth. So it seems investors have become more cautious about the company, over time. We'd venture the lowish P/E ratio of 9.37 also reflects the negative sentiment around the stock.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, CapitaLand's TSR for the last 3 years was 27%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that CapitaLand shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 16% over one year. That's including the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 4.8%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. Before forming an opinion on CapitaLand you might want to consider the cold hard cash it pays as a dividend. This free chart tracks its dividend over time.
For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on SG exchanges.
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.
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