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Investing in Joyce (ASX:JYC) three years ago would have delivered you a 128% gain

·3-min read

It hasn't been the best quarter for Joyce Corporation Ltd (ASX:JYC) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 22% in that time. But don't let that distract from the very nice return generated over three years. After all, the share price is up a market-beating 89% in that time.

So let's assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 3 years and see if they've moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.

View our latest analysis for Joyce

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 flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

Joyce was able to grow its EPS at 20% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. We note that the 24% yearly (average) share price gain isn't too far from the EPS growth rate. Coincidence? Probably not. This suggests that sentiment and expectations have not changed drastically. Rather, the share price has approximately tracked EPS growth.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

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

Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.

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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Joyce's TSR for the last 3 years was 128%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Joyce shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 21% over the last year. That's including the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 18% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Joyce better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Joyce you should be aware of.

If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.

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