The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. One great example is Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) which saw its share price drive 115% higher over five years. On top of that, the share price is up 17% in about a quarter.
With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.
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, Humana achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 41% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 17% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Humana's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
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 incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Humana, it has a TSR of 123% 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
We're pleased to report that Humana shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 9.2% over one year. That's including the dividend. Having said that, the five-year TSR of 17% a year, is even better. The pessimistic view would be that be that the stock has its best days behind it, but on the other hand the price might simply be moderating while the business itself continues to execute. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Humana better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for Humana you should be aware of.
We will like Humana 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.
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.