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Can You Imagine How Jubilant High Liner Foods' (TSE:HLF) Shareholders Feel About Its 124% Share Price Gain?

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Unless you borrow money to invest, the potential losses are limited. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. Take, for example High Liner Foods Incorporated (TSE:HLF). Its share price is already up an impressive 124% in the last twelve months. Also impressive, the stock is up 55% over three years, making long term shareholders happy, too.

See our latest analysis for High Liner Foods

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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 year High Liner Foods grew its earnings per share (EPS) by 226%. This EPS growth is significantly higher than the 124% increase in the share price. Therefore, it seems the market isn't as excited about High Liner Foods as it was before. This could be an opportunity. The caution is also evident in the lowish P/E ratio of 10.82.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. This free interactive report on High Liner Foods' 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. As it happens, High Liner Foods' TSR for the last year was 129%, 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 High Liner Foods shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 129% over the last year. That's including the dividend. There's no doubt those recent returns are much better than the TSR loss of 4% per year over five years. This makes us a little wary, but the business might have turned around its fortunes. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand High Liner Foods better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for High Liner Foods you should be aware of.

High Liner Foods is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

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

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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.