When we invest, we’re generally looking for stocks that outperform the market average. And while active stock picking involves risks (and requires diversification) it can also provide excess returns. To wit, the C.H. Robinson Worldwide share price has climbed 73% in five years, easily topping the market return of 39% (ignoring dividends). On the other hand, the more recent gains haven’t been so impressive, with shareholders gaining just 3.2%, including dividends.
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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.
During five years of share price growth, C.H. Robinson Worldwide achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 13% per year. So the EPS growth rate is rather close to the annualized share price gain of 12% per year. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn’t changed much over that time. Indeed, it would appear the share price is reacting to the EPS.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It’s probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
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 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. In the case of C.H. Robinson Worldwide, it has a TSR of 94% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
C.H. Robinson Worldwide shareholders gained a total return of 3.2% during the year. But that was short of the market average. If we look back over five years, the returns are even better, coming in at 14% per year for five years. It may well be that this is a business worth popping on the watching, given the continuing positive reception, over time, from the market. If you would like to research C.H. Robinson Worldwide in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.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.