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If You Had Bought Domtar (NYSE:UFS) Shares Three Years Ago You'd Have Made 28%

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It hasn't been the best quarter for Domtar Corporation (NYSE:UFS) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 12% in that time. On the other hand the share price is higher than it was three years ago. However, it's unlikely many shareholders are elated with the share price gain of 28% over that time, given the rising market.

View our latest analysis for Domtar

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 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).

During three years of share price growth, Domtar moved from a loss to profitability. That would generally be considered a positive, so we'd expect the share price to be up.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

NYSE:UFS Past and Future Earnings, July 4th 2019

It is of course excellent to see how Domtar has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Domtar's TSR for the last 3 years was 44%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 9.4% in the last year, Domtar shareholders lost 4.9% (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 4.8% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. Before spending more time on Domtar it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.

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 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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.