If you want to compound wealth in the stock market, you can do so by buying an index fund. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. For example, the Coles Group Limited (ASX:COL) share price is up 29% in the last year, clearly besting the market decline of around 9.0% (not including dividends). So that should have shareholders smiling. Coles Group hasn't been listed for long, so it's still not clear if it is a long term winner.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just 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.
Coles Group was able to grow EPS by 36% in the last twelve months. It's fair to say that the share price gain of 29% did not keep pace with the EPS growth. So it seems like the market has cooled on Coles Group, despite the growth. Interesting.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. This free interactive report on Coles Group's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Coles Group the TSR over the last year was 35%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Coles Group shareholders have gained 35% over the last year , including dividends . And the share price momentum remains respectable, with a gain of 12% in the last three months. This suggests the company is continuing to win over new investors. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Coles Group better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Coles Group you should know about.
Coles Group 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.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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