Investing in Cerillion (LON:CER) five years ago would have delivered you a 585% gain

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Long term investing can be life changing when you buy and hold the truly great businesses. And highest quality companies can see their share prices grow by huge amounts. To wit, the Cerillion Plc (LON:CER) share price has soared 505% over five years. This just goes to show the value creation that some businesses can achieve. We love happy stories like this one. The company should be really proud of that performance!

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.

Check out our latest analysis for Cerillion

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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).

Over half a decade, Cerillion managed to grow its earnings per share at 62% a year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 43% over the same period. So one could conclude that the broader market has become more cautious towards the stock. Of course, with a P/E ratio of 53.45, the market remains optimistic.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth

We know that Cerillion has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.

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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Cerillion the TSR over the last 5 years was 585%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

It’s nice to see that Cerillion shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 161% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 47%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. Before spending more time on Cerillion it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.

Of course Cerillion may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB 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.

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