The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. For instance, the price of Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) stock is up an impressive 133% over the last five years. On top of that, the share price is up 12% in about a quarter.
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 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).
During five years of share price growth, Constellation Brands achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 3.0% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 18% average annual increase in the share price. So it’s fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did five years ago. That’s not necessarily surprising considering the five-year track record of earnings growth.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below.
We know that Constellation Brands has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? This free interactive report on Constellation Brands’s balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Constellation Brands, it has a TSR of 146% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
Constellation Brands shareholders are down 2.5% for the year (even including dividends) , but the market itself is up 4.4%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn’t be so upset, since they would have made 20%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. If you would like to research Constellation Brands in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
But note: Constellation Brands 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.
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 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. Thank you for reading.