Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings' (NYSE:KNX) five-year earnings growth trails the favorable shareholder returns

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 16, 2022
NYSE:KNX
Source: Shutterstock

While Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. (NYSE:KNX) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 13% in the last quarter. On the bright side the share price is up over the last half decade. However we are not very impressed because the share price is only up 64%, less than the market return of 97%.

Since the stock has added US$444m to its market cap in the past week alone, let's see if underlying performance has been driving long-term returns.

See our latest analysis for Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.

During five years of share price growth, Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 31% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 10% over the same period. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company. The reasonably low P/E ratio of 11.80 also suggests market apprehension.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-per-share-growth
NYSE:KNX Earnings Per Share Growth March 16th 2022

We know that Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? Check if analysts think Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings 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. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings' TSR for the last 5 years was 70%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 18% over one year. And that does include the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 11% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings that you should be aware of.

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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