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Investors Who Bought GR Engineering Services (ASX:GNG) Shares Five Years Ago Are Now Up 44%

Simply Wall St

It hasn't been the best quarter for GR Engineering Services Limited (ASX:GNG) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 19% in that time. On the other hand the returns over the last half decade have not been bad. After all, the stock has performed better than the market (39%) in that time, and is up 44%.

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See our latest analysis for GR Engineering Services

In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

During five years of share price growth, GR Engineering Services actually saw its EPS drop 13% per year. Essentially, it doesn't seem likely that investors are focused on EPS. Because earnings per share don't seem to match up with the share price, we'll take a look at other metrics instead.

In fact, the dividend has increased over time, which is a positive. It could be that the company is reaching maturity and dividend investors are buying for the yield. We'd posit that the revenue growth over the last five years, of 14% per year, would encourage people to invest.

The graphic below shows how revenue and earnings have changed as management guided the business forward. If you want to see cashflow, you can click on the chart.

ASX:GNG Income Statement, May 21st 2019

You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, GR Engineering Services's TSR for the last 5 years was 109%, 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

Investors in GR Engineering Services had a tough year, with a total loss of 29% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 8.5%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 16%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. Keeping this in mind, a solid next step might be to take a look at GR Engineering Services's dividend track record. This free interactive graph is a great place to start.

Of course GR Engineering Services may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.

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

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Thank you for reading.