The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. But on a lighter note, a good company can see its share price rise well over 100%. One great example is Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE:AEM) which saw its share price drive 128% higher over five years. On top of that, the share price is up 18% in about a quarter. But this could be related to the strong market, which is up 10% in the last three months.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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.
We know that Agnico Eagle Mines has been profitable in the past. However, it made a loss in the last twelve months, suggesting profit may be an unreliable metric at this stage. So it might be better to look at other metrics to try to understand the share price.
The modest 1.1% dividend yield is unlikely to be propping up the share price. In contrast revenue growth of 3.7% per year is probably viewed as evidence that Agnico Eagle Mines is growing, a real positive. In that case, the company may be sacrificing current earnings per share to drive growth.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
Agnico Eagle Mines is a well known stock, with plenty of analyst coverage, suggesting some visibility into future growth. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Agnico Eagle Mines will earn in the future (free analyst consensus estimates)
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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 Agnico Eagle Mines, it has a TSR of 139% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that Agnico Eagle Mines has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 56% in the last twelve months. Of course, that includes the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 19% 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. Before spending more time on Agnico Eagle Mines it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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