Graphite India Limited (NSE:GRAPHITE) shareholders might understandably be very concerned that the share price has dropped 49% in the last quarter. But over the last three years the stock has shone bright like a diamond. In fact, the share price has taken off in that time, up 558%. So the recent fall doesn’t do much to dampen our respect for the business. The share price action could signify that the business itself is dramatically improved, in that time.
We love happy stories like this one. The company should be really proud of that performance!
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. 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.
Graphite India was able to grow its EPS at 244% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. This EPS growth is higher than the 87% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems investors have become more cautious about the company, over time. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 2.65.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It is of course excellent to see how Graphite India has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Graphite India, it has a TSR of 610% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 0.4% in the last year, Graphite India shareholders lost 30% (even including dividends). However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 45% per year over half a decade. 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. Keeping this in mind, a solid next step might be to take a look at Graphite India’s dividend track record. This free interactive graph is a great place to start.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies 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 IN exchanges.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.