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Super Retail Group Limited (ASX:SUL) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 22% in the last quarter. But over the last half decade, the stock has not performed well. You would have done a lot better buying an index fund, since the stock has dropped 24% in that half decade.
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. 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 the unfortunate half decade during which the share price slipped, Super Retail Group actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 4.2% per year. Given the share price reaction, one might suspect that EPS is not a good guide to the business performance during the period (perhaps due to a one-off loss or gain). Or possibly, the market was previously very optimistic, so the stock has disappointed, despite improving EPS. Based on these numbers, we'd venture that the market may have been over-optimistic about forecast growth, half a decade ago. Having said that, we might get a better idea of what's going on with the stock by looking at other metrics.
We note that the dividend has remained healthy, so that wouldn't really explain the share price drop. It's not immediately clear to us why the stock price is down but further research might provide some answers.
Depicted in the graphic below, you'll see revenue and earnings over time. If you want more detail, you can click on the chart itself.
It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Super Retail Group will earn in the future (free profit forecasts)
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Super Retail Group the TSR over the last 5 years was -2.8%, 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
It's good to see that Super Retail Group has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 24% in the last twelve months. Of course, that includes the dividend. There's no doubt those recent returns are much better than the TSR loss of 0.6% per year over five years. This makes us a little wary, but the business might have turned around its fortunes. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares - and the price they paid.
Super Retail Group is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU 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 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. Thank you for reading.