Watts Water Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:WTS) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 22% in the last quarter. On the bright side the returns have been quite good over the last half decade. Its return of 41% has certainly bested the market return!
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it’s a weighing machine. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
Over half a decade, Watts Water Technologies managed to grow its earnings per share at 22% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 7.2% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Watts Water Technologies’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Watts Water Technologies’s TSR for the last 5 years was 49%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Although it hurts that Watts Water Technologies returned a loss of 0.7% in the last twelve months, the broader market was actually worse, returning a loss of 11%. Longer term investors wouldn’t be so upset, since they would have made 8.4%, each year, over five years. In the best case scenario the last year is just a temporary blip on the journey to a brighter future. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Watts Water Technologies better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we’ve identified 1 warning sign for Watts Water Technologies that you should be aware of.
If you would prefer to check out another company — one with potentially superior financials — then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can 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.
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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