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Investors in Anglo Asian Mining (LON:AAZ) have made a fantastic return of 501% over the past five years

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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 Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ) shares for the last five years, while they gained 399%. This just goes to show the value creation that some businesses can achieve. In the last week the share price is up 2.9%.

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

See our latest analysis for Anglo Asian Mining

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. 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, Anglo Asian Mining achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 13% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 38% average annual increase in the share price. 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.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

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

Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.

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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Anglo Asian Mining, it has a TSR of 501% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Anglo Asian Mining shareholders are down 32% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 5.6%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 43%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. 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. To that end, you should be aware of the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Anglo Asian Mining .

If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.

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

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

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.