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In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it’s worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But the main game is to find enough winners to more than offset the losers So we wouldn’t blame long term Power Corporation of Canada (TSE:POW) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 10% over a half decade. It’s down 11% in about a quarter.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
While the share price declined over five years, Power of Canada actually managed to increase EPS by an average of 0.9% per year. So it doesn’t seem like EPS is a great guide to understanding how the market is valuing the stock. Or possibly, the market was previously very optimistic, so the stock has disappointed, despite improving EPS. Given EPS is up and the share price is down, it’s clear the market is more concerned about the business than it was previously. Having said that, if the EPS gains continue we’d expect the share price to improve, longer term.
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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Power of Canada’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Power of Canada, it has a TSR of 13% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
We’re pleased to report that Power of Canada shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 1.7% over one year. That’s including the dividend. Having said that, the five-year TSR of 2.4% a year, is even better. Keeping this in mind, a solid next step might be to take a look at Power of Canada’s dividend track record. This free interactive graph is a great place to start.
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Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA 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 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.