Amdocs' (NASDAQ:DOX) investors will be pleased with their notable 35% return over the last three years

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 11, 2022
NasdaqGS:DOX
Source: Shutterstock

Buying a low-cost index fund will get you the average market return. But across the board there are plenty of stocks that underperform the market. For example, the Amdocs Limited (NASDAQ:DOX) share price return of 28% over three years lags the market return in the same period. Looking at more recent returns, the stock is up 8.8% in a year.

With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.

View our latest analysis for Amdocs

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 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.

Amdocs was able to grow its EPS at 30% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. This EPS growth is higher than the 8% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore, it seems the market has moderated its expectations for growth, somewhat.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
NasdaqGS:DOX Earnings Per Share Growth January 11th 2022

We know that Amdocs has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Amdocs, it has a TSR of 35% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Amdocs shareholders are up 11% for the year (even including dividends). But that was short of the market average. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it's actually better than the average return of 7% over half a decade This suggests the company might be improving over time. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with Amdocs (at least 1 which is significant) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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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