Long term investing can be life changing when you buy and hold the truly great businesses. And we’ve seen some truly amazing gains over the years. Don’t believe it? Then look at the MSCI Inc. (NYSE:MSCI) share price. It’s 477% higher than it was five years ago. This just goes to show the value creation that some businesses can achieve. On top of that, the share price is up 22% in about a quarter. The company reported its financial results recently; you can catch up on the latest numbers by reading our company report.
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 five years of share price growth, MSCI achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 31% per year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 42% per year, over the same period. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. And that’s hardly shocking given the track record of growth. This favorable sentiment is reflected in its (fairly optimistic) P/E ratio of 47.38.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We’re pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized 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. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on MSCI’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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for MSCI the TSR over the last 5 years was 513%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
It’s good to see that MSCI has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 70% in the last twelve months. And that does include the dividend. That’s better than the annualised return of 44% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. 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.
We will like MSCI better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
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