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 Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLHR) share price is 95% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 39% (not including dividends) in the same period. So that should have shareholders smiling. The longer term returns have not been as good, with the stock price only 21% higher than it was three years ago.
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 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.
During the last year Herman Miller grew its earnings per share, moving from a loss to a profit.
When a company is just on the edge of profitability it can be well worth considering other metrics in order to more precisely gauge growth (and therefore understand share price movements).
Revenue was pretty flat year on year, but maybe a closer look at the data can explain the market optimism.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We know that Herman Miller has improved its bottom line lately, but what does the future have in store? You can see what analysts are predicting for Herman Miller in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We've already covered Herman Miller's share price action, but we should also mention its 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. Dividends have been really beneficial for Herman Miller shareholders, and that cash payout contributed to why its TSR of 97%, over the last year, is better than the share price return.
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that Herman Miller has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 97% in the last twelve months. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 8%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
But note: Herman Miller may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
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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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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