Stock pickers are generally looking for stocks that will outperform the broader market. Buying under-rated businesses is one path to excess returns. To wit, the CSG Systems International share price has climbed 76% in five years, easily topping the market return of 41% (ignoring dividends). On the other hand, the more recent gains haven't been so impressive, with shareholders gaining just 15%, including dividends.
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In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
Over half a decade, CSG Systems International managed to grow its earnings per share at 9.0% a year. This EPS growth is lower than the 12% average annual increase in the share price. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. And that's hardly shocking given the track record of growth.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We know that CSG Systems International has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? If you're interested, you could check this free report showing consensus revenue forecasts.
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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of CSG Systems International, it has a TSR of 95% 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
It's nice to see that CSG Systems International shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 15% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 14% 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. Is CSG Systems International cheap compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.
But note: CSG Systems International 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 US 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.