By buying an index fund, you can roughly match the market return with ease. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. For example, the Ocean Wilsons Holdings Limited (LON:OCN) share price is up 47% in the last three years, clearly besting the market return of around 0.8% (not including dividends). On the other hand, the returns haven’t been quite so good recently, with shareholders up just 44% , including dividends .
So let’s assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 3 years and see if they’ve moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.
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.
During three years of share price growth, Ocean Wilsons Holdings moved from a loss to profitability. That would generally be considered a positive, so we’d expect the share price to be up.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We know that Ocean Wilsons Holdings has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? If you are thinking of buying or selling Ocean Wilsons Holdings stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.
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. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Ocean Wilsons Holdings’ TSR for the last 3 years was 75%, 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 good to see that Ocean Wilsons Holdings has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 44% in the last twelve months. And that does include the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 8%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We’ve identified 1 warning sign with Ocean Wilsons Holdings , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
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 British 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.