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TAL Education Group's (NYSE:TAL) Wonderful 475% Share Price Increase Shows How Capitalism Can Build Wealth

Simply Wall St

It might be of some concern to shareholders to see the TAL Education Group (NYSE:TAL) share price down 19% in the last month. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last half decade have been spectacular. To be precise, the stock price is 475% higher than it was five years ago, a wonderful performance by any measure. So it might be that some shareholders are taking profits after good performance. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price.

Check out our latest analysis for TAL Education Group

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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).

During five years of share price growth, TAL Education Group achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 29% per year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 42% per year, over the same period. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. And that's hardly shocking given the track record of growth. This optimism is visible in its fairly high P/E ratio of 60.87.

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

NYSE:TAL Past and Future Earnings, August 6th 2019

We know that TAL Education Group has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

We've already covered TAL Education Group's share price action, but we should also mention its total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. TAL Education Group hasn't been paying dividends, but its TSR of 477% exceeds its share price return of 475%, implying it has either spun-off a business, or raised capital at a discount; thereby providing additional value to shareholders.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 0.05% in the twelve months, TAL Education Group shareholders did even worse, losing 8.9%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 42%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. Before deciding if you like the current share price, check how TAL Education Group scores on these 3 valuation metrics.

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 US exchanges.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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. Thank you for reading.