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Cheniere Energy (NYSE:LNG) shareholders have earned a 21% CAGR over the last five years

The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But on the bright side, you can make far more than 100% on a really good stock. Long term Cheniere Energy, Inc. (NYSE:LNG) shareholders would be well aware of this, since the stock is up 148% in five years. We note the stock price is up 2.0% in the last seven days.

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.

Check out our latest analysis for Cheniere Energy

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.

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During the five years of share price growth, Cheniere Energy moved from a loss to profitability. That kind of transition can be an inflection point that justifies a strong share price gain, just as we have seen here.

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

It is of course excellent to see how Cheniere Energy has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. This free interactive report on Cheniere Energy's balance sheet strength 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). 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Cheniere Energy's TSR for the last 5 years was 155%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Cheniere Energy provided a TSR of 15% over the last twelve months. But that return falls short of the market. It's probably a good sign that the company has an even better long term track record, having provided shareholders with an annual TSR of 21% over five years. Maybe the share price is just taking a breather while the business executes on its growth strategy. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Cheniere Energy better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - Cheniere Energy has 2 warning signs (and 1 which can't be ignored) we think you should know about.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.

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