While Mosaic Brands Limited (ASX:MOZ) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 19% in the last quarter. But that doesn't undermine the fantastic longer term performance (measured over five years). In that time, the share price has soared some 314% higher! Arguably, the recent fall is to be expected after such a strong rise. But the real question is whether the business fundamentals can improve over the long term.
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...' 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 the five years of share price growth, Mosaic Brands moved from a loss to profitability. Sometimes, the start of profitability is a major inflection point that can signal fast earnings growth to come, which in turn justifies very strong share price gains. Since the company was unprofitable five years ago, but not three years ago, it's worth taking a look at the returns in the last three years, too. We can see that the Mosaic Brands share price is up 59% in the last three years. In the same period, EPS is up 11% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 17% average annual increase in the share price over three years. So one can reasonably conclude the market is more enthusiastic about the stock than it was three years ago.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.
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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Mosaic Brands, it has a TSR of 394% 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
Investors in Mosaic Brands had a tough year, with a total loss of 12% (including dividends) , against a market gain of about 24%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 38% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. Importantly, we haven't analysed Mosaic Brands's dividend history. This free visual report on its dividends is a must-read if you're thinking of buying.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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