It hasn't been the best quarter for Rocky Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:RCKY) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 12% in that time. But that doesn't undermine the fantastic longer term performance (measured over five years). In that time, the share price has soared some 370% higher! Arguably, the recent fall is to be expected after such a strong rise. But the real question is whether the business fundamentals can improve over the long term.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
Over half a decade, Rocky Brands managed to grow its earnings per share at 38% a year. So the EPS growth rate is rather close to the annualized share price gain of 36% per year. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time. Indeed, it would appear the share price is reacting to the EPS.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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, Rocky Brands' TSR for the last 5 years was 429%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that Rocky Brands shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 188% over one year. That's including the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 40%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Rocky Brands (including 1 which is a bit unpleasant) .
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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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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