It might be of some concern to shareholders to see the Sunpower Group Ltd. (SGX:5GD) share price down 11% in the last month. But that doesn't change the fact that shareholders have received really good returns over the last five years. It's fair to say most would be happy with 286% the gain in that time. Generally speaking the long term returns will give you a better idea of business quality than short periods can. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price. Unfortunately not all shareholders will have held it for five years, so spare a thought for those caught in the 33% decline over the last three years: that's a long time to wait for profits.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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 five years of share price growth, Sunpower Group achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 18% per year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 31% 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.
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 Sunpower Group has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? If you are thinking of buying or selling Sunpower Group stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.
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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Sunpower Group's TSR for the last 5 years was 293%, 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
We're pleased to report that Sunpower Group shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 12% over one year. That's including the dividend. However, that falls short of the 32% TSR per annum it has made for shareholders, each year, over five years. The pessimistic view would be that be that the stock has its best days behind it, but on the other hand the price might simply be moderating while the business itself continues to execute. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Sunpower Group (of which 1 is potentially serious!) you should know about.
We will like Sunpower Group better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on SG exchanges.
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.
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