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Investors in Smart Parking (ASX:SPZ) have seen incredible returns of 357% over the past five years

We think all investors should try to buy and hold high quality multi-year winners. And highest quality companies can see their share prices grow by huge amounts. Don’t believe it? Then look at the Smart Parking Limited (ASX:SPZ) share price. It’s 357% higher than it was five years ago. If that doesn’t get you thinking about long term investing, we don’t know what will. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 20% gain in the last three months.

Let’s take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they’ve been consistent with shareholder returns.

Check out our latest analysis for Smart Parking

To quote Buffett, ‘Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace…’ 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, Smart Parking moved from a loss to profitability. Sometimes, the start of profitability is a major inflection point that can signal fast earnings growth to come, which in turn justifies very strong share price gains.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-per-share-growth

We know that Smart Parking has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphics.

A Different Perspective

It’s nice to see that Smart Parking shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 81% over the last year. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 36% per year), it would seem that the stock’s performance has improved in recent times. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

We will like Smart Parking better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of undervalued stocks (mostly small caps) with considerable, recent, insider buying.

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

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email [email protected]

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