The Performance data in ShareData™ Online and the Stock Exchange Handbook provides historical rates of return over various periods. These make it possible to compare the historical performance of shares, and also to compare shares and funds (such as unit trusts) – the performance methodology used matches that in FundsData Online and Profile's Unit Trusts and Collective Investments handbook.
Percentages shown in performance tables are annual compound returns assuming the reinvestment of dividends. A return of 10% per annum over three years, for example, translates into a total return of 33.1%. This is reflected in the Growth in R1 000 column: at 10% per year (compounded annually) R1 000 grows to R3 300.10.
Performance Calculation Methodology
The methodology used to calculate rates of return takes into account both capital gains and dividends. In order to be consistent with fund performance data, dividends are treated as if they were reinvested on the ex div date using the closing price of the share on the ex div date. Although in practice dividends on shares are paid anything from ten days to two months after the LDT, the dividend accrues to the shareholder registered on the cum div date regardless of whether the share is sold thereafter – it can therefore be considered part of the shareholder's return at the ex div date. Reinvestment on the ex div date (at the ex div price) does create small over- or understatements of returns compared to actual performance, but it remains the simplest method available to achieve consistent and comparable figures.
The TRI is a daily data stream that captures both price movements and the effect of reinvested dividends so that the total return can be plotted on a graph.
Per Annum Return
The p.a. Return (second column in the Performance table) shows the annual compound return over various periods from 1 year to 10 years (where available). For one year, the per annum return and the absolute return are obviously the same. These annualised returns – the equivalent of CAGR (compound annual growth rate), which is the norm for reporting fund performance internationally – make it possible to compare the performance of individual shares with unit trusts and mutual funds. Note that per annum returns include reinvestment of dividends (see Performance Calculation Methodology above) – they related to the blue line in the performance chart.
Growth in R1 000
This column in the Performance table shows the absolute return (ie, total growth) in an investment of R1 000 over periods from 1 to 10 years (where available). Annual compound growth of 10% turns R1 000 into R2 000 in just over seven years. A share investment of R1 000 that grows to R10 000 over 10 years (a 10-year 10-bagger) equates to annual compound growth of 25.9%.
Annualised inflation shows South African official CPI (consumer price index) over comparable periods, also on an annual compound basis. Subtracting the inflation number from the per annum number gives you the real return for a share (assuming the share has outperformed inflation).
This is a measure of the riskiness of a share based on the standard deviation of the month-on-month percentage price change of the share price. Volatility is usually calculated over a 36-month period but for the performance table the number of months used corresponds to the number of years shown in the first column (ie, the 5-year volatility is calculated over 60 months, the 3-year volatility over 36 months, etc). The higher these figures the riskier the share. A figure of 12.5 tells you that, two-thirds of the time, the month-end price change was within 12.5% of the average month-on-month price change over the period shown (either up or down), and that 95% of the time, the price change was within 25% (double 12.5%) either up or down. Put more simply, 12.5 means the share was within a 25% 'band' around the price change average two-thirds of the time, and within a 50% band about 95% of the time.
Comprehensive dividend history for each security issued by each listed company is available in ShareData. Dividend tables go back as far as 1990 (subject to data availability). Dividend data includes the dividend declaration date, the last day to trade (LDT), the payment date, the dividend amount (in cents per share) and the currency. The ex-div date is not shown as this is always the trading day that falls immediately after the LDT. Where shareholders were given an option to receive shares rather than cash, the dividend is shown as a ratio per hundred ordinary shares (under the heading Scrip/100).
Note that dividends are adjusted historically in the event of share splits or share consolidations in order to keep past dividends in sync with the current share price.