When we invest, we’re generally looking for stocks that outperform the market average. Buying under-rated businesses is one path to excess returns. To wit, the Heineken share price has climbed 49% in five years, easily topping the market return of 18% (ignoring dividends). However, more recent returns haven’t been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 20% in the last year , including dividends .
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
Over half a decade, Heineken managed to grow its earnings per share at 7.4% a year. This EPS growth is reasonably close to the 8.3% average annual increase in the share price. This indicates that investor sentiment towards the company has not changed a great deal. In fact, the share price seems to largely reflect the EPS growth.
The company’s earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We know that Heineken 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). The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Heineken the TSR over the last 5 years was 62%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
It’s good to see that Heineken has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 20% in the last twelve months. And that does include the dividend. That’s better than the annualised return of 10% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Case in point: We’ve spotted 1 warning sign for Heineken you should be aware of.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on NL exchanges.
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.
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