Long term investing can be life changing when you buy and hold the truly great businesses. And we've seen some truly amazing gains over the years. Don't believe it? Then look at the EML Payments Limited (ASX:EML) share price. It's 383% higher than it was five years ago. If that doesn't get you thinking about long term investing, we don't know what will.
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 the last half decade, EML Payments became profitable. That kind of transition can be an inflection point that justifies a strong share price gain, just as we have seen here. Given that the company made a profit three years ago, but not five years ago, it is worth looking at the share price returns over the last three years, too. Indeed, the EML Payments share price has gained 73% in three years. In the same period, EPS is up 125% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 20% average annual increase in the share price over the same three years. So you might conclude the market is a little more cautious about the stock, these days. Having said that, the market is still optimistic, given the P/E ratio of 79.02.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between EML Payments' total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. We note that EML Payments' TSR, at 389% is higher than its share price return of 383%. When you consider it hasn't been paying a dividend, this data suggests shareholders have benefitted from a spin-off, or had the opportunity to acquire attractively priced shares in a discounted capital raising.
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that EML Payments shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 7.5% over the last year. However, that falls short of the 37% TSR per annum it has made for shareholders, each year, over five years. Potential buyers might understandably feel they've missed the opportunity, but it's always possible business is still firing on all cylinders. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Case in point: We've spotted 4 warning signs for EML Payments you should be aware of.
EML Payments is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with 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.
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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