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Wish You Were Here: How Altium (ASX:ALU) Shareholders Made A Stonking Gain Of 1440%

Simply Wall St

Buying shares in the best businesses can build meaningful wealth for you and your family. And we've seen some truly amazing gains over the years. To wit, the Altium Limited (ASX:ALU) share price has soared 1440% over five years. This just goes to show the value creation that some businesses can achieve. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 36% gain in the last three months.

Anyone who held for that rewarding ride would probably be keen to talk about it.

Check out our latest analysis for Altium

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 five years of share price growth, Altium achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 32% per year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 73% per year, over the same period. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did five years ago. And that's hardly shocking given the track record of growth. This optimism is visible in its fairly high P/E ratio of 67.53.

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

ASX:ALU Past and Future Earnings, April 29th 2019

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Altium's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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. As it happens, Altium's TSR for the last 5 years was 1664%, 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 Altium shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 70% over the last year. That's including the dividend. Having said that, the five-year TSR of 78% a year, is even better. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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 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.