When you buy shares in a company, it’s worth keeping in mind the possibility that it could fail, and you could lose your money. But on the bright side, if you buy shares in a high quality company at the right price, you can gain well over 100%. Long term Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) shareholders would be well aware of this, since the stock is up 222% in five years. It’s also good to see the share price up 13% over the last quarter.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
Over half a decade, Ross Stores managed to grow its earnings per share at 17% a year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 26% per year, over the same period. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. That’s not necessarily surprising considering the five-year track record of earnings growth.
We know that Ross Stores has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? This free report showing analyst revenue forecasts should help you figure out if the EPS growth can be sustained.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Ross Stores’s TSR for the last 5 years was 238%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
We’re pleased to report that Ross Stores shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 16% over one year. And that does include the dividend. However, the TSR over five years, coming in at 28% per year, is even more impressive. The pessimistic view would be that be that the stock has its best days behind it, but on the other hand the price might simply be moderating while the business itself continues to execute. If you would like to research Ross Stores in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.