United States Lime & Minerals' (NASDAQ:USLM) three-year total shareholder returns outpace the underlying earnings growth

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 30, 2021
NasdaqGS:USLM
Source: Shutterstock

While United States Lime & Minerals, Inc. (NASDAQ:USLM) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 19% in the last quarter. But at least the stock is up over the last three years. In that time, it is up 60%, which isn't bad, but not amazing either.

While the stock has fallen 12% this week, it's worth focusing on the longer term and seeing if the stocks historical returns have been driven by the underlying fundamentals.

See our latest analysis for United States Lime & Minerals

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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).

United States Lime & Minerals was able to grow its EPS at 10% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. This EPS growth is lower than the 17% average annual increase in the share price. This suggests that, as the business progressed over the last few years, it gained the confidence of market participants. It's not unusual to see the market 're-rate' a stock, after a few years of growth.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-per-share-growth
NasdaqGS:USLM Earnings Per Share Growth December 1st 2021

Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.

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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for United States Lime & Minerals the TSR over the last 3 years was 72%, 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

United States Lime & Minerals shareholders are up 8.3% for the year (even including dividends). But that return falls short of the market. On the bright side, the longer term returns (running at about 11% a year, over half a decade) look better. It may well be that this is a business worth popping on the watching, given the continuing positive reception, over time, from the market. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with United States Lime & Minerals , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

Discounted cash flow calculation for every stock

Simply Wall St does a detailed discounted cash flow calculation every 6 hours for every stock on the market, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any company just search here. It’s FREE.

Make Confident Investment Decisions

Simply Wall St's Editorial Team provides unbiased, factual reporting on global stocks using in-depth fundamental analysis.
Find out more about our editorial guidelines and team.