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Those who invested in Ternium (NYSE:TX) three years ago are up 136%

Ternium S.A. (NYSE:TX) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 11% in the last quarter. But in three years the returns have been great. Indeed, the share price is up a very strong 111% in that time. After a run like that some may not be surprised to see prices moderate. The fundamental business performance will ultimately dictate whether the top is in, or if this is a stellar buying opportunity.

Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

View our latest analysis for Ternium

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).

Ternium was able to grow its EPS at 44% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. The average annual share price increase of 28% is actually lower than the EPS growth. Therefore, it seems the market has moderated its expectations for growth, somewhat. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 1.85.

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

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

We know that Ternium has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? If you are thinking of buying or selling Ternium stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.

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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Ternium the TSR over the last 3 years was 136%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 8.9% in the twelve months, Ternium shareholders did even worse, losing 33% (even including dividends). 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 8%, 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. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Ternium better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Ternium (1 is a bit concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

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.

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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