The 34% return delivered to Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies' (NYSE:WAB) shareholders actually lagged YoY earnings growth

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 18, 2022
NYSE:WAB
Source: Shutterstock

If you want to compound wealth in the stock market, you can do so by buying an index fund. But you can significantly boost your returns by picking above-average stocks. To wit, the Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation (NYSE:WAB) share price is 33% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 1.2% (not including dividends) in the same period. So that should have shareholders smiling. Also impressive, the stock is up 31% over three years, making long term shareholders happy, too.

Since the stock has added US$1.2b to its market cap in the past week alone, let's see if underlying performance has been driving long-term returns.

Check out our latest analysis for Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies

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.

Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies was able to grow EPS by 37% in the last twelve months. We note that the earnings per share growth isn't far from the share price growth (of 33%). So this implies that investor expectations of the company have remained pretty steady. It makes intuitive sense that the share price and EPS would grow at similar rates.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-per-share-growth
NYSE:WAB Earnings Per Share Growth February 18th 2022

It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies' earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 34% over the last year. That's including the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 5% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies by clicking this link.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do 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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