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If You Had Bought Mapfre (BME:MAP) Shares Three Years Ago You'd Have Made 19%

Simply Wall St

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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, Mapfre, S.A. (BME:MAP) shareholders have seen the share price rise 19% over three years, well in excess of the market return (8.0%, not including dividends).

See our latest analysis for Mapfre

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...' 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, Mapfre achieved compound earnings per share growth of 0.4% per year. In comparison, the 5.9% per year gain in the share price outpaces the EPS growth. This indicates that the market is feeling more optimistic on the stock, after the last few years of progress. It's not unusual to see the market 're-rate' a stock, after a few years of growth.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

BME:MAP Past and Future Earnings, April 29th 2019

This free interactive report on Mapfre's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

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 incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Mapfre, it has a TSR of 36% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 0.4% in the twelve months, Mapfre shareholders did even worse, losing 3.6% (even including dividends). However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 1.3% 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. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

But note: Mapfre may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on ES 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.