Investing in Australian United Investment (ASX:AUI) five years ago would have delivered you a 50% gain

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The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. But more than that, you probably want to see it rise more than the market average. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Australian United Investment Company Limited (ASX:AUI) share price is up 23% in the last five years, that’s less than the market return. Looking at the last year alone, the stock is up 7.0%.

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

Check out our latest analysis for Australian United Investment

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

Over half a decade, Australian United Investment managed to grow its earnings per share at 5.2% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 4% average annual increase in the share price. So one could conclude that the broader market has become more cautious towards the stock.

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

earnings-per-share-growth

Dive deeper into Australian United Investment’s key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Australian United Investment’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. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Australian United Investment, it has a TSR of 50% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

We’re pleased to report that Australian United Investment shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 11% over one year. That’s including the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 8% per year), it would seem that the stock’s performance has improved in recent times. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. 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. For instance, we’ve identified 2 warning signs for Australian United Investment (1 is a bit concerning) that you should be aware of.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.

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