The total return for Standex International (NYSE:SXI) investors has risen faster than earnings growth over the last three years

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 21, 2022
NYSE:SXI
Source: Shutterstock

Low-cost index funds make it easy to achieve average market returns. But across the board there are plenty of stocks that underperform the market. For example, the Standex International Corporation (NYSE:SXI) share price return of 34% over three years lags the market return in the same period. Some buyers are laughing, though, with an increase of 22% in the last year.

While the stock has fallen 5.1% this week, it's worth focusing on the longer term and seeing if the stocks historical returns have been driven by the underlying fundamentals.

See our latest analysis for Standex International

To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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.

Standex International was able to grow its EPS at 12% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. We don't think it is entirely coincidental that the EPS growth is reasonably close to the 10% average annual increase in the share price. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time. Quite to the contrary, the share price has arguably reflected the EPS growth.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
NYSE:SXI Earnings Per Share Growth January 21st 2022

It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Standex International'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). 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. We note that for Standex International the TSR over the last 3 years was 40%, 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

We're pleased to report that Standex International shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 23% over one year. And that does include the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 4% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. 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. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Standex International that you should be aware of before investing here.

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 US exchanges.

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