Unless you borrow money to invest, the potential losses are limited. On the other hand, if you find a high quality business to buy (at the right price) you can more than double your money! Take, for example Medical Facilities Corporation (TSE:DR). Its share price is already up an impressive 104% in the last twelve months. Meanwhile the share price is 1.7% higher than it was a week ago. On the other hand, longer term shareholders have had a tougher run, with the stock falling 53% in three years.
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.
Medical Facilities was able to grow EPS by 16% in the last twelve months. The share price gain of 104% certainly outpaced the EPS growth. This indicates that the market is now more optimistic about the stock.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. This free interactive report on Medical Facilities' earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. We note that for Medical Facilities the TSR over the last year was 117%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that Medical Facilities has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 117% in the last twelve months. That's including the dividend. That certainly beats the loss of about 6% per year over the last half decade. This makes us a little wary, but the business might have turned around its fortunes. 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. Take risks, for example - Medical Facilities has 4 warning signs (and 1 which is potentially serious) we think you should know about.
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 CA exchanges.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.
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