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Investors in Objective (ASX:OCL) have made a fantastic return of 924% over the past five years

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We think all investors should try to buy and hold high quality multi-year winners. And we've seen some truly amazing gains over the years. For example, the Objective Corporation Limited (ASX:OCL) share price is up a whopping 859% in the last half decade, a handsome return for long term holders. If that doesn't get you thinking about long term investing, we don't know what will. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 17% gain in the last three months. This could be related to the recent financial results, released recently - you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report. We love happy stories like this one. The company should be really proud of that performance!

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 Objective

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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.

During five years of share price growth, Objective achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 24% per year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 57% per year, over the same period. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. That's not necessarily surprising considering the five-year track record of earnings growth. This favorable sentiment is reflected in its (fairly optimistic) P/E ratio of 102.78.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

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

It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Objective's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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 Objective, it has a TSR of 924% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that Objective has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 44% in the last twelve months. Of course, that includes the dividend. Having said that, the five-year TSR of 59% a year, is even better. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Even so, be aware that Objective is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...

Of course Objective may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.

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. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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