When we invest, we’re generally looking for stocks that outperform the market average. And while active stock picking involves risks (and requires diversification) it can also provide excess returns. For example, long term Ryman Healthcare Limited (NZSE:RYM) shareholders have enjoyed a 85% share price rise over the last half decade, well in excess of the market return of around 47% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven’t been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 5.3% in the last year , including dividends .
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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, Ryman Healthcare managed to grow its earnings per share at 1.8% a year. This EPS growth is lower than the 13% average annual increase in the share price. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. And that’s hardly shocking given the track record of growth.
The company’s earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
It’s good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That’s a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Ryman Healthcare’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. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Ryman Healthcare’s TSR for the last 5 years was 103%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Ryman Healthcare provided a TSR of 5.3% over the last twelve months. But that return falls short of the market. On the bright side, the longer term returns (running at about 15% a year, over half a decade) look better. It’s quite possible the business continues to execute with prowess, even as the share price gains are slowing. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we’ve spotted 3 warning signs for Ryman Healthcare (of which 1 is significant!) you should know about.
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 NZ 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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