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Those who invested in Alimentation Couche-Tard (TSE:ATD) five years ago are up 75%

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·3 min read
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When we invest, we're generally looking for stocks that outperform the market average. Buying under-rated businesses is one path to excess returns. To wit, the Alimentation Couche-Tard share price has climbed 69% in five years, easily topping the market return of 21% (ignoring dividends). On the other hand, the more recent gains haven't been so impressive, with shareholders gaining just 6.7% , including dividends .

Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.

View our latest analysis for Alimentation Couche-Tard

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

During five years of share price growth, Alimentation Couche-Tard achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 20% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 11% over the same period. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

This free interactive report on Alimentation Couche-Tard's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Alimentation Couche-Tard's TSR for the last 5 years was 75%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Alimentation Couche-Tard shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 6.7% over the last year. That's including the dividend. Having said that, the five-year TSR of 12% a year, is even better. Potential buyers might understandably feel they've missed the opportunity, but it's always possible business is still firing on all cylinders. 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 Alimentation Couche-Tard is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...

Of course Alimentation Couche-Tard may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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