When we invest, we're generally looking for stocks that outperform the market average. And in our experience, buying the right stocks can give your wealth a significant boost. For example, long term St. James's Place plc (LON:STJ) shareholders have enjoyed a 13% share price rise over the last half decade, well in excess of the market decline of around 3.2% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 3.6% in the last year , including dividends .
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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 five years of share price growth, St. James's Place achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 8.9% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 3% over the same period. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that St. James's Place has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? If you're interested, you could check this free report showing consensus revenue forecasts.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We've already covered St. James's Place's share price action, but we should also mention its total shareholder return (TSR). Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. Dividends have been really beneficial for St. James's Place shareholders, and that cash payout contributed to why its TSR of 35%, over the last 5 years, is better than the share price return.
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that St. James's Place shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 3.6% over one year. However, that falls short of the 6% TSR per annum it has made for shareholders, each year, over five years. Potential buyers might understandably feel they've missed the opportunity, but it's always possible business is still firing on all cylinders. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with St. James's Place , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB 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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