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Investors in BioPharma Credit (LON:BPCR) have made a return of 19% over the past five years

These days it's easy to simply buy an index fund, and your returns should (roughly) match the market. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more -- or less -- than that. The BioPharma Credit PLC (LON:BPCR) stock price is down 17% over five years, but the total shareholder return is 19% once you include the dividend. And that total return actually beats the market decline of 4.4%.

Now let's have a look at the company's fundamentals, and see if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

See our latest analysis for BioPharma Credit

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.

While the share price declined over five years, BioPharma Credit actually managed to increase EPS by an average of 18% per year. Given the share price reaction, one might suspect that EPS is not a good guide to the business performance during the period (perhaps due to a one-off loss or gain). Or possibly, the market was previously very optimistic, so the stock has disappointed, despite improving EPS.

Generally speaking we'd expect to see stronger share price increases on the back of sustained EPS growth, but other metrics may hold a clue to why the share price performance is relatively modest.

We note that the dividend has remained healthy, so that wouldn't really explain the share price drop. It's not immediately clear to us why the stock price is down but further research might provide some answers.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Take a more thorough look at BioPharma Credit's financial health with this free 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for BioPharma Credit the TSR over the last 5 years was 19%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that BioPharma Credit shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 2.0% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. However, the TSR over five years, coming in at 4% per year, is even more impressive. 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. 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. Take risks, for example - BioPharma Credit has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

But note: BioPharma Credit 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.

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.

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