Agilent Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:A) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 12% in the last quarter. But at least the stock is up over the last three years. In that time, it is up 38%, which isn’t bad, but not amazing either.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it’s a weighing machine. 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.
Agilent Technologies was able to grow its EPS at 35% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. The average annual share price increase of 11% is actually lower than the EPS growth. Therefore, it seems the market has moderated its expectations for growth, somewhat.
We know that Agilent Technologies has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? If you are thinking of buying or selling Agilent Technologies stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.
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. As it happens, Agilent Technologies’s TSR for the last 3 years was 41%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Agilent Technologies provided a TSR of 1.9% over the last twelve months. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. It’s probably a good sign that the company has an even better long term track record, having provided shareholders with an annual TSR of 11% over five years. Maybe the share price is just taking a breather while the business executes on its growth strategy. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
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.
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