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If You Had Bought Macmahon Holdings (ASX:MAH) Shares Five Years Ago You'd Have Made 340%

Simply Wall St

We think all investors should try to buy and hold high quality multi-year winners. And we've seen some truly amazing gains over the years. Don't believe it? Then look at the Macmahon Holdings Limited (ASX:MAH) share price. It's 340% higher than it was five years ago. And this is just one example of the epic gains achieved by some long term investors. It's also good to see the share price up 64% over the last quarter.

See our latest analysis for Macmahon Holdings

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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.

Macmahon Holdings's earnings per share are down 1.0% per year, despite strong share price performance over five years.

By glancing at these numbers, we'd posit that the decline in earnings per share is not representative of how the business has changed over the years. Therefore, it's worth taking a look at other metrics to try to understand the share price movements.

The modest 1.7% dividend yield is unlikely to be propping up the share price. The revenue growth of 1.8% per year hardly seems impressive. So why is the share price up? It's not immediately obvious to us, but a closer look at the company's progress over time might yield answers.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

ASX:MAH Income Statement, January 9th 2020

It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Macmahon Holdings

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. In the case of Macmahon Holdings, it has a TSR of 353% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that Macmahon Holdings shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 44% over one year. That's including the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 35% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Macmahon Holdings by clicking this link.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are 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 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.

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.