The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. But on the bright side, you can make far more than 100% on a really good stock. Long term United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X) shareholders would be well aware of this, since the stock is up 100% in five years. It's up an even more impressive 122% over the last quarter.
United States Steel wasn't profitable in the last twelve months, it is unlikely we'll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.
In the last 5 years United States Steel saw its revenue grow at 2.7% per year. That's not a very high growth rate considering the bottom line. So we wouldn't have expected to see the share price to have lifted 15% for each year during that time, but that's what happened. Shareholders should be pretty happy with that, although interested investors might want to examine the financial data more closely to see if the gains are really justified. It may be that the market is pretty optimistic about United States Steel.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
United States Steel is a well known stock, with plenty of analyst coverage, suggesting some visibility into future growth. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think United States Steel will earn in the future (free analyst consensus estimates)
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 or spin-off. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for United States Steel the TSR over the last 5 years was 110%, 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
It's good to see that United States Steel has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 46% in the last twelve months. That's including the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 16% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand United States Steel better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for United States Steel you should be aware of.
We will like United States Steel 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.
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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. 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.
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