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Those who invested in Flex (NASDAQ:FLEX) five years ago are up 384%

When you buy shares in a company, it's worth keeping in mind the possibility that it could fail, and you could lose your money. But on the bright side, you can make far more than 100% on a really good stock. Long term Flex Ltd. (NASDAQ:FLEX) shareholders would be well aware of this, since the stock is up 252% in five years. And in the last month, the share price has gained 12%. This could be related to the recent financial results that were recently released - you could check the most recent data by reading our company report.

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 Flex

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 flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

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Over half a decade, Flex managed to grow its earnings per share at 55% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 29% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

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

We know that Flex has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.

What About The Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

Investors should note that there's a difference between Flex's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. We note that Flex's TSR, at 384% is higher than its share price return of 252%. When you consider it hasn't been paying a dividend, this data suggests shareholders have benefitted from a spin-off, or had the opportunity to acquire attractively priced shares in a discounted capital raising.

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Flex shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 66% over the last year. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 37%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. 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. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Flex you should know about.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of undervalued small caps 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 American 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.