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It's been a soft week for Metals X Limited (ASX:MLX) shares, which are down 24%. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last three years have been very strong. Indeed, the share price is up a very strong 123% in that time. After a run like that some may not be surprised to see prices moderate. If the business can perform well for years to come, then the recent drop could be an opportunity.
While the stock has fallen 24% this week, it's worth focusing on the longer term and seeing if the stocks historical returns have been driven by the underlying fundamentals.
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.
Metals X became profitable within the last three years. Given the importance of this milestone, it's not overly surprising that the share price has increased strongly.
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 Metals X has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
Investors should note that there's a difference between Metals X's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. Its history of dividend payouts mean that Metals X's TSR of 130% over the last 3 years is better than the share price return.
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that Metals X shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 110% over one year. Notably the five-year annualised TSR loss of 4% per year compares very unfavourably with the recent share price performance. This makes us a little wary, but the business might have turned around its fortunes. 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. To that end, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Metals X (including 1 which is significant) .
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU 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.