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K&S (ASX:KSC) sheds 14% this week, as yearly returns fall more in line with earnings growth

K&S Corporation Limited (ASX:KSC) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 14% in the last week. But in three years the returns have been great. Indeed, the share price is up a very strong 110% in that time. It's not uncommon to see a share price retrace a bit, after a big gain. The thing to consider is whether the underlying business is doing well enough to support the current price.

While this past week has detracted from the company's three-year return, let's look at the recent trends of the underlying business and see if the gains have been in alignment.

Check out our latest analysis for K&S

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.

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During three years of share price growth, K&S achieved compound earnings per share growth of 3.2% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 28% average annual increase in the share price. This suggests that, as the business progressed over the last few years, it gained the confidence of market participants. It is quite common to see investors become enamoured with a business, after a few years of solid progress.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

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

It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on K&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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for K&S the TSR over the last 3 years was 149%, 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 good to see that K&S has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 51% in the last twelve months. And that does include the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 18% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand K&S better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for K&S you should be aware of.

If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.

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