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The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. To wit, the SSP Group plc (LON:SSPG) share price has flown 134% in the last three years. That sort of return is as solid as granite. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 11% gain in the last three months. But this move may well have been assisted by the reasonably buoyant market (up 11% in 90 days).
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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 three years of share price growth, SSP Group achieved compound earnings per share growth of 29% per year. We don't think it is entirely coincidental that the EPS growth is reasonably close to the 33% average annual increase in the share price. This suggests that sentiment and expectations have not changed drastically. Quite to the contrary, the share price has arguably reflected the EPS growth.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that SSP Group has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? Check if analysts think SSP Group will grow revenue in the future.
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 SSP Group the TSR over the last 3 years was 153%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that SSP Group rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 21% over the last year. And yes, that does include the dividend. The TSR has been even better over three years, coming in at 36% per year. If you would like to research SSP Group in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
But note: SSP Group 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 GB 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.