Unfortunately, investing is risky - companies can and do go bankrupt. On the other hand, if you find a high quality business to buy (at the right price) you can more than double your money! Take, for example Sunland Group Limited (ASX:SDG). Its share price is already up an impressive 106% in the last twelve months. Looking back further, the stock price is 35% higher than it was three years ago.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
Over the last twelve months, Sunland Group actually shrank its EPS by 30%.
So we don't think that investors are paying too much attention to EPS. Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.
For starters, we suspect the share price has been buoyed by the dividend, which was increased during the year. It could be that the company is reaching maturity and dividend investors are buying for the yield, pushing the price up in the process. Though we must add that the revenue growth of 132% year on year would have helped paint a pretty picture.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Sunland Group will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).
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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Sunland Group the TSR over the last year was 149%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Sunland Group shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 149% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 18% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. 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. Even so, be aware that Sunland Group is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about...
Sunland Group is not the only stock that insiders are buying. 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 AU 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.
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