If you buy and hold a stock for many years, you'd hope to be making a profit. Better yet, you'd like to see the share price move up more than the market average. But Jabil Inc. (NYSE:JBL) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 62% over five years, which is below the market return. The last year hasn't been great either, with the stock up just 1.0%.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
Jabil's earnings per share are down 25% per year, despite strong share price performance over five years.
This means it's unlikely the market is judging the company based on earnings growth. Because earnings per share don't seem to match up with the share price, we'll take a look at other metrics instead.
The modest 0.8% dividend yield is unlikely to be propping up the share price. In contrast revenue growth of 9.6% per year is probably viewed as evidence that Jabil is growing, a real positive. In that case, the company may be sacrificing current earnings per share to drive growth.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
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). 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, Jabil's TSR for the last 5 years was 72%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
Jabil provided a TSR of 1.9% over the last twelve months. But that was short of the market average. 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. It's quite possible the business continues to execute with prowess, even as the share price gains are slowing. 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. To that end, you should be aware of the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Jabil .
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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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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