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If you want to compound wealth in the stock market, you can do so by buying an index fund. But investors can boost returns by picking market-beating companies to own shares in. To wit, the Cervus Equipment Corporation (TSE:CERV) share price is 76% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 12% (not including dividends) in the same period. If it can keep that out-performance up over the long term, investors will do very well! The longer term returns have not been as good, with the stock price only 0.6% higher than it was three years ago.
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 the last year Cervus Equipment grew its earnings per share, moving from a loss to a profit.
When a company has just transitioned to profitability, earnings per share growth is not always the best way to look at the share price action.
We doubt the modest 1.4% dividend yield is doing much to support the share price. Revenue was pretty flat year on year, but maybe a closer look at the data can explain the market optimism.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We know that Cervus Equipment has improved its bottom line lately, but what does the future have in store? This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Cervus Equipment
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. We note that for Cervus Equipment the TSR over the last year was 81%, 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
It's nice to see that Cervus Equipment shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 81% over the last year. That's including the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 6%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Cervus Equipment better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Cervus Equipment (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable) that you should be aware of.
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. 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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