Generally speaking the aim of active stock picking is to find companies that provide returns that are superior to the market average. And in our experience, buying the right stocks can give your wealth a significant boost. For example, the Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) share price is up 73% in the last 5 years, clearly besting than the market return of around 47% (ignoring dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 5.1% in the last year, including dividends.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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, Citrix Systems achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 18% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 12% over the same period. So one could conclude that the broader market has become more cautious towards the stock.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We know that Citrix Systems 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). 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Citrix Systems the TSR over the last 5 years was 119%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Citrix Systems shareholders are up 5.1% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. If we look back over five years, the returns are even better, coming in at 17% 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 Citrix Systems 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 would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
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.