It hasn't been the best quarter for Valvoline Inc. (NYSE:VVV) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 12% in that time. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last three years have been pleasing. In fact, the company's share price bested the return of its market index in that time, posting a gain of 61%.
Although Valvoline has shed US$221m from its market cap this week, let's take a look at its longer term fundamental trends and see if they've driven returns.
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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.
During three years of share price growth, Valvoline achieved compound earnings per share growth of 26% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 17% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems investors have become more cautious about the company, over time.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We know that Valvoline has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.
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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Valvoline the TSR over the last 3 years was 71%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Valvoline shareholders are down 9.4% over twelve months (even including dividends), which isn't far from the market return of -10%. The silver lining is that longer term investors would have made a total return of 6% per year over half a decade. If the stock price has been impacted by changing sentiment, rather than deteriorating business conditions, it could spell opportunity. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Valvoline you should know about.
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.
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.