When you buy shares in a company, it's worth keeping in mind the possibility that it could fail, and you could lose your money. But on a lighter note, a good company can see its share price rise well over 100%. One great example is Toll Brothers, Inc. (NYSE:TOL) which saw its share price drive 117% higher over five years. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 15% gain in the last three months.
Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.
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.
During five years of share price growth, Toll Brothers achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 25% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 17% over the same period. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company. The reasonably low P/E ratio of 9.71 also suggests market apprehension.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We know that Toll Brothers has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? This free report showing analyst revenue forecasts should help you figure out if the EPS growth can be sustained.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Toll Brothers, it has a TSR of 130% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that Toll Brothers has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 53% in the last twelve months. And that does include the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 18% 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. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for Toll Brothers you should be aware of.
But note: Toll Brothers 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. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.