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In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it’s worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in The Mosaic Company (NYSE:MOS), since the last five years saw the share price fall 32%. It’s up 3.3% in the last seven days.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it’s a weighing machine. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
In the last half decade Mosaic saw its share price fall as its EPS declined. The recent extraordinary items contributed to this situation. At present it’s hard to make valid comparisons between EPS and the share price. But we would generally expect a lower price, given the situation.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. This free interactive report on Mosaic’s earnings, revenue and cash flow 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. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Mosaic the TSR over the last 5 years was -24%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
It’s good to see that Mosaic has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 16% in the last twelve months. That’s including the dividend. There’s no doubt those recent returns are much better than the TSR loss of 5.3% per year over five years. We generally put more weight on the long term performance over the short term, but the recent improvement could hint at a (positive) inflection point within the business. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Mosaic by clicking this link.
Mosaic is not the only stock that insiders are buying. 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.
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.