Want to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and earn a $40 gift card!
The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. Long term Port of Tauranga Limited (NZSE:POT) shareholders would be well aware of this, since the stock is up 124% in five years. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 13% gain in the last three months. But this could be related to the strong market, which is up 6.9% in the last three months.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
Over half a decade, Port of Tauranga managed to grow its earnings per share at 4.3% a year. This EPS growth is lower than the 18% 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. This optimism is visible in its fairly high P/E ratio of 52.77.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
Dive deeper into Port of Tauranga's key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Port of Tauranga's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. In the case of Port of Tauranga, it has a TSR of 174% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that Port of Tauranga has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 33% in the last twelve months. That's including the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 22% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. 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. Take risks, for example - Port of Tauranga has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.
We will like Port of Tauranga better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on NZ 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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email email@example.com.