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Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) shareholder returns have been decent, earning 75% in 5 years

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When we invest, we're generally looking for stocks that outperform the market average. And in our experience, buying the right stocks can give your wealth a significant boost. For example, the Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT) share price is up 59% in the last 5 years, clearly besting the market return of around 31% (ignoring dividends).

Since it's been a strong week for Beach Energy shareholders, let's have a look at trend of the longer term fundamentals.

Check out our latest analysis for Beach Energy

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect 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.

During the five years of share price growth, Beach Energy moved from a loss to profitability. That would generally be considered a positive, so we'd expect the share price to be up. Since the company was unprofitable five years ago, but not three years ago, it's worth taking a look at the returns in the last three years, too. We can see that the Beach Energy share price is down 16% in the last three years. During the same period, EPS grew by 15% each year. It would appear there's a real mismatch between the increasing EPS and the share price, which has declined -6% a year for three years.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

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

It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Beach Energy, it has a TSR of 75% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

Beach Energy shareholders are down 30% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 20%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 12% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

Beach Energy is not the only stock that insiders are buying. 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 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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