Investing in Sapiens International (NASDAQ:SPNS) five years ago would have delivered you a 115% gain

When we invest, we’re generally looking for stocks that outperform the market average. And in our experience, buying the right stocks can give your wealth a significant boost. For example, long term Sapiens International Corporation N.V. (NASDAQ:SPNS) shareholders have enjoyed a 99% share price rise over the last half decade, well in excess of the market return of around 74% (not including dividends). On the other hand, the more recent gains haven’t been so impressive, with shareholders gaining just 50% , including dividends .

So let’s assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 5 years and see if they’ve moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.

View our latest analysis for Sapiens International

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 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.

During five years of share price growth, Sapiens International achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 32% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 15% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

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

earnings-per-share-growth

We know that Sapiens International has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? This free report showing analyst revenue forecasts should help you figure out if the EPS growth can be sustained.

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 incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Sapiens International the TSR over the last 5 years was 115%, 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 Sapiens International shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 50% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 17%. 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. 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 1 warning sign for Sapiens International you should know about.

If you would prefer to check out another company — one with potentially superior financials — then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.

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.


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