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Silvercorp Metals (TSE:SVM) shareholders have earned a 18% CAGR over the last three years

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While Silvercorp Metals Inc. (TSE:SVM) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 24% in the last quarter. But don't let that distract from the very nice return generated over three years. In fact, the company's share price bested the return of its market index in that time, posting a gain of 59%.

Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

See our latest analysis for Silvercorp Metals

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

During the three years of share price growth, Silvercorp Metals actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) drop 4.3% per year.

Based on these numbers, we think that the decline in earnings per share may not be a good representation of how the business has changed over the years. So other metrics may hold the key to understanding what is influencing investors.

Languishing at just 0.6%, we doubt the dividend is doing much to prop up the share price. Do you think that shareholders are buying for the 2.6% per annum revenue growth trend? We don't. While we don't have an obvious theory to explain the share price rise, a closer look at the data might be enlightening.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

We know that Silvercorp Metals has improved its bottom line lately, but what does the future have in store? So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Silvercorp Metals will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).

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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Silvercorp Metals' TSR for the last 3 years was 63%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

Silvercorp Metals shareholders are down 51% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 31%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 4%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Silvercorp Metals better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should be aware of the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Silvercorp Metals .

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 CA 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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