Those who invested in Columbia Sportswear (NASDAQ:COLM) five years ago are up 58%

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 18, 2022
NasdaqGS:COLM
Source: Shutterstock

The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Furthermore, you'd generally like to see the share price rise faster than the market. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Columbia Sportswear Company (NASDAQ:COLM) share price is up 51% in the last five years, that's less than the market return. The last year has been disappointing, with the stock price down 20% in that time.

Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

Check out our latest analysis for Columbia Sportswear

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, Columbia Sportswear managed to grow its earnings per share at 15% a year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 9% over the same period. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-per-share-growth
NasdaqGS:COLM Earnings Per Share Growth April 18th 2022

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 Columbia Sportswear'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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Columbia Sportswear's TSR for the last 5 years was 58%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 1.1% in the twelve months, Columbia Sportswear shareholders did even worse, losing 19% (even including dividends). Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 10%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. If you would like to research Columbia Sportswear in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.

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 US exchanges.

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