While Lynas Rare Earths Limited (ASX:LYC) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 12% in the last quarter. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last half decade have been spectacular. In that time, the share price has soared some 688% higher! Arguably, the recent fall is to be expected after such a strong rise. The most important thing for savvy investors to consider is whether the underlying business can justify the share price gain.
Anyone who held for that rewarding ride would probably be keen to talk about it.
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 the five years of share price growth, Lynas Rare Earths moved from a loss to profitability. That kind of transition can be an inflection point that justifies a strong share price gain, just as we have seen here.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between Lynas Rare Earths' total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. 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. We note that Lynas Rare Earths' TSR, at 699% is higher than its share price return of 688%. When you consider it hasn't been paying a dividend, this data suggests shareholders have benefitted from a spin-off, or had the opportunity to acquire attractively priced shares in a discounted capital raising.
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that Lynas Rare Earths has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 148% in the last twelve months. That's better than the annualised return of 52% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. 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 Lynas Rare Earths better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Lynas Rare Earths that you should be aware of before investing here.
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 AU exchanges.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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