Stock pickers are generally looking for stocks that will outperform the broader market. And while active stock picking involves risks (and requires diversification) it can also provide excess returns. For example, long term Beiersdorf Aktiengesellschaft (ETR:BEI) shareholders have enjoyed a 33% share price rise over the last half decade, well in excess of the market decline of around 2.3% (not including dividends). On the other hand, the more recent gains haven't been so impressive, with shareholders gaining just 20% , including dividends .
So let's investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
During five years of share price growth, Beiersdorf achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 4.2% per year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 6% per year, over the same period. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did five years ago. That's not necessarily surprising considering the five-year track record of earnings growth.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that Beiersdorf has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. In the case of Beiersdorf, it has a TSR of 38% 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
It's good to see that Beiersdorf has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 20% in the last twelve months. Of course, that includes the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 7% 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. Is Beiersdorf cheap compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on German 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.