The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. On the other hand, if you find a high quality business to buy (at the right price) you can more than double your money! For example, the Michael Hill International Limited (ASX:MHJ) share price has soared 130% in the last 1 year. Most would be very happy with that, especially in just one year! It's also good to see the share price up 46% over the last quarter. Also impressive, the stock is up 85% over three years, making long term shareholders happy, too.
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.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just 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.
Michael Hill International boasted truly magnificent EPS growth in the last year. We don't think the exact number is a good guide to the sustainable growth rate, but we do think this sort of increase is impressive. So we'd expect to see the share price higher. Strong growth like this can be evidence of a fundamental inflection point in the business, making it a good time to investigate the stock more closely.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that Michael Hill International has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? Check if analysts think Michael Hill International will grow revenue in the future.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. In the case of Michael Hill International, it has a TSR of 144% for the last 1 year. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that Michael Hill International shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 144% over one year. That's including the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 0.1% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Even so, be aware that Michael Hill International is showing 5 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is significant...
But note: Michael Hill International may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU exchanges.
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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