Tesla delivers fantastic CAGR to shareholders

Tesla delivers fantastic CAGR to shareholders

Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) shareholders might understandably be very concerned that the share price has dropped 32% in the last quarter. But that doesn’t change the fact that the returns over the last half decade have been spectacular. In fact, during that period, the share price climbed 830%. Impressive! Arguably, the recent fall is to be expected after such a strong rise. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price. It really delights us to see such great share price performance for investors.

After a strong gain in the past week, it’s worth seeing if longer term returns have been driven by improving fundamentals.



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 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).

During the last half decade, Tesla became profitable. That kind of transition can be an inflection point that justifies a strong share price gain, just as we have seen here. Since the company was unprofitable five years ago, but not three years ago, it’s worth taking a look at the returns in the last three years, too. In fact, the Tesla stock price is 19% lower in the last three years. In the same period, EPS is up 167% per year. It would appear there’s a real mismatch between the increasing EPS and the share price, which has declined -7% a year for three years.

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

It is of course excellent to see how Tesla has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders.

A Different Perspective



While the broader market gained around 33% in the last year, Tesla shareholders lost 10%. 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 56%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance.

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