Investors Who Bought Waters (NYSE:WAT) Shares Five Years Ago Are Now Up 87%

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. To wit, the Waters share price has climbed 87% in five years, easily topping the market return of 45% (ignoring dividends). However, more recent returns haven’t been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 9.3% in the last year.

View our latest analysis for Waters

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 five years of share price growth, Waters achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 10% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 13% average annual increase in the share price. So it’s fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did five years ago. That’s not necessarily surprising considering the five-year track record of earnings growth.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time.

NYSE:WAT Past and Future Earnings, November 14th 2019
NYSE:WAT Past and Future Earnings, November 14th 2019

It’s probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. It’s always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. This free interactive report on Waters’s earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

A Different Perspective

Waters shareholders are up 9.3% for the year. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. On the bright side, the longer term returns (running at about 13% a year, over half a decade) look better. It may well be that this is a business worth popping on the watching, given the continuing positive reception, over time, from the market. If you would like to research Waters in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.

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 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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.