Investing in UP Global Sourcing Holdings (LON:UPGS) three years ago would have delivered you a 142% gain

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UP Global Sourcing Holdings plc (LON:UPGS) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 18% in the last quarter. But that doesn’t change the fact that the returns over the last three years have been very strong. In fact, the share price is up a full 118% compared to three years ago. After a run like that some may not be surprised to see prices moderate. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price.

So let’s assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 3 years and see if they’ve moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.

View our latest analysis for UP Global Sourcing Holdings

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).

UP Global Sourcing Holdings was able to grow its EPS at 18% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. In comparison, the 30% per year gain in the share price outpaces the EPS growth. So it’s fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did three years ago. It is quite common to see investors become enamoured with a business, after a few years of solid progress.

The company’s earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-per-share-growth

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on UP Global Sourcing Holdings’ 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. We note that for UP Global Sourcing Holdings the TSR over the last 3 years was 142%, 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

While the broader market gained around 7.1% in the last year, UP Global Sourcing Holdings shareholders lost 2.2% (even including dividends). Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn’t be so upset, since they would have made 2%, each year, over five years. 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. 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 4 warning signs for UP Global Sourcing Holdings you should know about.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do 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 GB 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.