By buying an index fund, investors can approximate the average market return. But if you choose individual stocks with prowess, you can make superior returns. For example, the George Weston Limited (TSE:WN) share price is up 50% in the last three years, clearly besting the market return of around 18% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 29% in the last year , including dividends .
Since it's been a strong week for George Weston shareholders, let's have a look at trend of the longer term fundamentals.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
George Weston became profitable within the last three years. So we would expect a higher share price over the period.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of George Weston's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of George Weston, it has a TSR of 59% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that George Weston shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 29% over the last year. That's including the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 7% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. To that end, you should be aware of the 2 warning signs we've spotted with George Weston .
George Weston is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA exchanges.
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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.