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MTU Aero Engines (ETR:MTX) shareholders have endured a 6.0% loss from investing in the stock five years ago

The main aim of stock picking is to find the market-beating stocks. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. So we wouldn't blame long term MTU Aero Engines AG (ETR:MTX) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 10% over a half decade. In the last ninety days we've seen the share price slide 26%.

With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.

View our latest analysis for MTU Aero Engines

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, MTU Aero Engines actually managed to increase EPS by an average of 3.8% 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.

Given that EPS has increased, but the share price has fallen, it's fair to say that market sentiment around the stock has become more negative. Having said that, if the EPS gains continue we'd expect the share price to improve, longer term.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

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

We know that MTU Aero Engines has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? Check if analysts think MTU Aero Engines will grow revenue in the future.

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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, MTU Aero Engines' TSR for the last 5 years was -6.0%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 13% in the last year, MTU Aero Engines shareholders lost 2.8% (even including dividends). Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 1.2% over the last half decade. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should "buy when there is blood on the streets", but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand MTU Aero Engines better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - MTU Aero Engines has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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