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Investing in Infratil (NZSE:IFT) five years ago would have delivered you a 196% gain

The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. Long term Infratil Limited (NZSE:IFT) shareholders would be well aware of this, since the stock is up 152% in five years.

So let's investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

See our latest analysis for Infratil

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just 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.

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During the five years of share price growth, Infratil moved from a loss to profitability. That kind of transition can be an inflection point that justifies a strong share price gain, just as we have seen here.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

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. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Infratil's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Infratil the TSR over the last 5 years was 196%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Infratil shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 19% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. However, the TSR over five years, coming in at 24% per year, is even more impressive. 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. Even so, be aware that Infratil is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 2 of those are a bit unpleasant...

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on New Zealander 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.