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Imagine Holding Vitrolife (STO:VITR) Shares While The Price Zoomed 919% Higher

Simply Wall St

We think all investors should try to buy and hold high quality multi-year winners. And we've seen some truly amazing gains over the years. Just think about the savvy investors who held Vitrolife AB (publ) (STO:VITR) shares for the last five years, while they gained 919%. And this is just one example of the epic gains achieved by some long term investors. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 39% gain in the last three months. This could be related to the recent financial results, released recently - you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report.

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

View our latest analysis for Vitrolife

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 flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

During five years of share price growth, Vitrolife achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 38% per year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 59% per year, over the same period. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did five years ago. That's not necessarily surprising considering the five-year track record of earnings growth. This optimism is visible in its fairly high P/E ratio of 76.41.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

OM:VITR Past and Future Earnings, April 22nd 2019

We know that Vitrolife has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? This free report showing analyst revenue forecasts should help you figure out if the EPS growth can be sustained.

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. As it happens, Vitrolife's TSR for the last 5 years was 955%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Vitrolife shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 70% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 60%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. 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.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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