For many, the main point of investing is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But the main game is to find enough winners to more than offset the losers So we wouldn't blame long term JSE Limited (JSE:JSE) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 25% over a half decade.
So let's have a look and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just 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.
Looking back five years, both JSE's share price and EPS declined; the latter at a rate of 0.1% per year. This reduction in EPS is less than the 6% annual reduction in the share price. So it seems the market was too confident about the business, in the past. The less favorable sentiment is reflected in its current P/E ratio of 10.69.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
Dive deeper into JSE's key metrics by checking this interactive graph of JSE's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
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 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, JSE's TSR for the last 5 years was -6.4%, 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
JSE provided a TSR of 3.8% over the last twelve months. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. But at least that's still a gain! Over five years the TSR has been a reduction of 1.2% per year, over five years. It could well be that the business is stabilizing. 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 JSE is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is a bit concerning...
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on ZA 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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