When you buy shares in a company, it’s worth keeping in mind the possibility that it could fail, and you could lose your money. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. Long term Australian Ethical Investment Limited (ASX:AEF) shareholders would be well aware of this, since the stock is up 227% in five years. It’s also good to see the share price up 44% over the last quarter.
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.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company’s share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
Over half a decade, Australian Ethical Investment managed to grow its earnings per share at 4.6% a year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 27% per year, over the same period. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. That’s not necessarily surprising considering the five-year track record of earnings growth. This optimism is visible in its fairly high P/E ratio of 96.56.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Australian Ethical Investment’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. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Australian Ethical Investment the TSR over the last 5 years was 252%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
We’re pleased to report that Australian Ethical Investment shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 23% over one year. Of course, that includes the dividend. However, that falls short of the 29% TSR per annum it has made for shareholders, each year, over five years. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we’ve spotted 2 warning signs for Australian Ethical Investment you should know about.
For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on Australian 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.