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How Much Did Challenger's(ASX:CGF) Shareholders Earn From Share Price Movements Over The Last Three Years?

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In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it's worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But the risk of stock picking is that you will likely buy under-performing companies. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term Challenger Limited (ASX:CGF) shareholders, since the share price is down 53% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 32%. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 15% in the last 90 days.

Check out our latest analysis for Challenger

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

Challenger saw its share price decline over the three years in which its EPS also dropped, falling to a loss. Due to the loss, it's not easy to use EPS as a reliable guide to the business. But it's safe to say we'd generally expect the share price to be lower as a result!

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
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. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Challenger the TSR over the last 3 years was -49%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

Challenger shareholders are up 22% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. But at least that's still a gain! Over five years the TSR has been a reduction of 5% per year, over five years. It could well be that the business is stabilizing. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Challenger better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Challenger you should be aware of, and 1 of them shouldn't be ignored.

Challenger is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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