Investing in Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (NYSE:NGVC) five years ago would have delivered you a 137% gain

While Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. (NYSE:NGVC) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn’t had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 24% in the last quarter. On the bright side the returns have been quite good over the last half decade. Its return of 95% has certainly bested the market return!

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 Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect 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.

During five years of share price growth, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 24% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 14% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company.

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

earnings-per-share-growth

It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. In the case of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, it has a TSR of 137% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

It’s nice to see that Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 66% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 19%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We’ve spotted 1 warning sign for Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage you should be aware of.

But note: Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).

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