Long term investing can be life changing when you buy and hold the truly great businesses. While the best companies are hard to find, but they can generate massive returns over long periods. Don't believe it? Then look at the ASM International NV (AMS:ASM) share price. It's 391% higher than it was five years ago. This just goes to show the value creation that some businesses can achieve. It's also up 23% in about a month. But this could be related to good market conditions -- stocks in its market are up 12% in the last month.
After a strong gain in the past week, it's worth seeing if longer term returns have been driven by improving fundamentals.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
During five years of share price growth, ASM International achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 3.4% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 37% average annual increase in the share price. 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 favorable sentiment is reflected in its (fairly optimistic) P/E ratio of 46.35.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
Dive deeper into ASM International's key metrics by checking this interactive graph of ASM International's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
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 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. In the case of ASM International, it has a TSR of 480% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 12% in the twelve months, ASM International shareholders did even worse, losing 24% (even including dividends). However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. 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. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand ASM International better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with ASM International , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
Of course ASM International 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 NL exchanges.
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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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