Generally speaking the aim of active stock picking is to find companies that provide returns that are superior to the market average. And the truth is, you can make significant gains if you buy good quality businesses at the right price. For example, the Hiolle Industries S.A. (EPA:ALHIO) share price is up 81% in the last 5 years, clearly besting the market return of around 41% (ignoring dividends).
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 five years of share price growth, Hiolle Industries achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 28% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 13% over the same period. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company. The reasonably low P/E ratio of 9.54 also suggests market apprehension.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
This free interactive report on Hiolle Industries'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 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Hiolle Industries the TSR over the last 5 years was 110%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Hiolle Industries shareholders are down 3.4% for the year (even including dividends) , but the market itself is up 21%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 16%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. Importantly, we haven't analysed Hiolle Industries's dividend history. This free visual report on its dividends is a must-read if you're thinking of buying.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on FR exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.