While Triad Group plc (LON:TRD) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 17% in the last quarter. But that doesn't change the fact that shareholders have received really good returns over the last five years. In fact, the share price is 106% higher today. Generally speaking the long term returns will give you a better idea of business quality than short periods can. Ultimately business performance will determine whether the stock price continues the positive long term trend. While the returns over the last 5 years have been good, we do feel sorry for those shareholders who haven't held shares that long, because the share price is down 54% in the last three years.
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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 five years of share price growth, Triad Group achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 8.0% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 16% 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 graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Triad Group's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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 Triad Group, it has a TSR of 132% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Triad Group shareholders gained a total return of 11% during the year. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. It's probably a good sign that the company has an even better long term track record, having provided shareholders with an annual TSR of 18% over five years. Maybe the share price is just taking a breather while the business executes on its growth strategy. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Be aware that Triad Group is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is concerning...
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB exchanges.
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