You can receive the average market return by buying a low-cost index fund. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. To wit, Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (NYSE:JLL) shares are up 37% in three years, besting the market return. The bad news is that the share price seems to lack positive momentum recently, since it has dropped 6.3% in the last year.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
During three years of share price growth, Jones Lang LaSalle achieved compound earnings per share growth of 2.9% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 11% 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 is quite common to see investors become enamoured with a business, after a few years of solid progress.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We know that Jones Lang LaSalle has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? Check if analysts think Jones Lang LaSalle will grow revenue in the future.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Jones Lang LaSalle the TSR over the last 3 years was 40%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that Jones Lang LaSalle shareholders are down 5.9% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that’s worse than the broader market decline of 0.4%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there’s a good opportunity. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 6.5% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. Before spending more time on Jones Lang LaSalle it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.
If you would prefer to check out another company — one with potentially superior financials — then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.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 email@example.com. 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.