Stock pickers are generally looking for stocks that will outperform the broader market. And in our experience, buying the right stocks can give your wealth a significant boost. For example, the Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) share price is up 68% in the last 5 years, clearly besting than the market return of around 47% (ignoring dividends). However, more recent returns haven’t been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 23% in the last year, including dividends.
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 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.
Sanderson Farms’s earnings per share are down 6.6% per year, despite strong share price performance over five years. Essentially, it doesn’t seem likely that investors are focused on EPS. Because earnings per share don’t seem to match up with the share price, we’ll take a look at other metrics instead.
We doubt the modest 0.9% dividend yield is attracting many buyers to the stock. In contrast revenue growth of 4.8% per year is probably viewed as evidence that Sanderson Farms is growing, a real positive. In that case, the company may be sacrificing current earnings per share to drive growth.
You can see how revenue and earnings have changed over time in the image below, (click on the chart to see cashflow).
This free interactive report on Sanderson Farms’s balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
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. We note that for Sanderson Farms the TSR over the last 5 years was 82%, 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
We’re pleased to report that Sanderson Farms shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 23% over one year. That’s including the dividend. That’s better than the annualised return of 13% 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.
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.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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. Thank you for reading.