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Imagine Holding Bathurst Resources (ASX:BRL) Shares While The Price Zoomed 547% Higher

Simply Wall St

We think all investors should try to buy and hold high quality multi-year winners. And highest quality companies can see their share prices grow by huge amounts. To wit, the Bathurst Resources Limited (ASX:BRL) share price has soared 547% over five years. If that doesn't get you thinking about long term investing, we don't know what will. It's also up 20% in about a month.

We love happy stories like this one. The company should be really proud of that performance!

See our latest analysis for Bathurst Resources

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.

During the five years of share price growth, Bathurst Resources moved from a loss to profitability. That kind of transition can be an inflection point that justifies a strong share price gain, just as we have seen here. Given that the company made a profit three years ago, but not five years ago, it is worth looking at the share price returns over the last three years, too. Indeed, the Bathurst Resources share price has gained 45% in three years. Meanwhile, EPS is up 198% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 13% average annual increase in the share price over the same three years. So you might conclude the market is a little more cautious about the stock, these days. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 4.07.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

ASX:BRL Past and Future Earnings, December 4th 2019

It is of course excellent to see how Bathurst Resources has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. This free interactive report on Bathurst Resources's balance sheet strength 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Bathurst Resources's TSR for the last 5 years was 567%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Investors in Bathurst Resources had a tough year, with a total loss of 9.3% (including dividends) , against a market gain of about 22%. 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 46%, 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. You could get a better understanding of Bathurst Resources's growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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.