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%. For example, the Aon plc (NYSE:AON) share price has soared 117% in the last half decade. Most would be very happy with that. In the last week shares have slid back 1.5%.
To quote Buffett, ‘Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace…’ 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, Aon managed to grow its earnings per share at 6.6% a year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 17% per year, over the same period. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. And that’s hardly shocking given the track record of growth.
We know that Aon has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Aon’s TSR for the last 5 years was 130%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
It’s nice to see that Aon shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 32% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 18%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
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.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.