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Investing in Dollarama (TSE:DOL) five years ago would have delivered you a 64% gain

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When we invest, we're generally looking for stocks that outperform the market average. Buying under-rated businesses is one path to excess returns. For example, long term Dollarama Inc. (TSE:DOL) shareholders have enjoyed a 61% share price rise over the last half decade, well in excess of the market return of around 30% (not including dividends). On the other hand, the more recent gains haven't been so impressive, with shareholders gaining just 4.2% , including dividends .

So let's assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 5 years and see if they've moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.

Check out our latest analysis for Dollarama

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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 five years of share price growth, Dollarama achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 12% per year. So the EPS growth rate is rather close to the annualized share price gain of 10% per year. This indicates that investor sentiment towards the company has not changed a great deal. In fact, the share price seems to largely reflect the EPS growth.

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

We know that Dollarama 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?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Dollarama's TSR for the last 5 years was 64%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

Dollarama shareholders gained a total return of 4.2% during the year. But that return falls short of the market. On the bright side, the longer term returns (running at about 10% a year, over half a decade) look better. Maybe the share price is just taking a breather while the business executes on its growth strategy. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for Dollarama that you should be aware of before investing here.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.