The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But on a lighter note, a good company can see its share price rise well over 100%. Long term Parker-Hannifin Corporation (NYSE:PH) shareholders would be well aware of this, since the stock is up 104% in five years. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 13% gain in the last three months. But this move may well have been assisted by the reasonably buoyant market (up 8.2% in 90 days).
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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, Parker-Hannifin achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 5.8% per year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 15% per year, over the same period. 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 image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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, Parker-Hannifin’s TSR for the last 5 years was 124%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
Parker-Hannifin shareholders gained a total return of 11% during the year. But that was short of the market average. It’s probably a good sign that the company has an even better long term track record, having provided shareholders with an annual TSR of 17% over five years. Maybe the share price is just taking a breather while the business executes on its growth strategy. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Parker-Hannifin better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should be aware of the 2 warning signs we’ve spotted with Parker-Hannifin .
We will like Parker-Hannifin better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
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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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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