The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Furthermore, you’d generally like to see the share price rise faster than the market Unfortunately for shareholders, while the DTE Energy Company (NYSE:DTE) share price is up 49% in the last five years, that’s less than the market return. But if you include dividends then the return is market-beating. Over the last twelve months the stock price has risen a very respectable 14%.
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. 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.
Over half a decade, DTE Energy managed to grow its earnings per share at 7.8% a year. This EPS growth is reasonably close to the 8.3% average annual increase in the share price. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn’t changed much over that time. Rather, the share price has approximately tracked EPS growth.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of DTE Energy’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.
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. In the case of DTE Energy, it has a TSR of 75% for the last 5 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
DTE Energy shareholders are up 18% for the year (even including dividends) . Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. The silver lining is that the gain was actually better than the average annual return of 12% per year over five year. This could indicate that the company is winning over new investors, as it pursues its strategy. 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. Case in point: We’ve spotted 1 warning sign for DTE Energy you should be aware of.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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.
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