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If You Had Bought Sopheon (LON:SPE) Shares Five Years Ago You'd Have Made 753%

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Simply Wall St
·3 min read
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While Sopheon plc (LON:SPE) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 14% in the last quarter. But that does not change the realty that the stock's performance has been terrific, over five years. In fact, during that period, the share price climbed 753%. Impressive! So we don't think the recent decline in the share price means its story is a sad one. But the real question is whether the business fundamentals can improve over the long term. While the long term returns are impressive, we do have some sympathy for those who bought more recently, given the 34% drop, in the last year.

It really delights us to see such great share price performance for investors.

Check out our latest analysis for Sopheon

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 the last half decade, Sopheon became profitable. That kind of transition can be an inflection point that justifies a strong share price gain, just as we have seen here.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

AIM:SPE Past and Future Earnings April 21st 2020
AIM:SPE Past and Future Earnings April 21st 2020

Dive deeper into Sopheon's key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Sopheon's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Sopheon the TSR over the last 5 years was 757%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 17% in the twelve months, Sopheon shareholders did even worse, losing 33% (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 54% 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. 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. Take risks, for example - Sopheon has 3 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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