Estée Lauder Companies (NYSE:EL) shareholders have earned a 19% CAGR over the last three years
Thanks in no small measure to Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, it's easy buy a low cost index fund, which should provide the average market return. But you can make better returns by buying undervalued shares. To wit, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE:EL) shares are up 64% in three years, besting the market return. In contrast, the stock is actually down 10% in the last year, suggesting a lack of positive momentum.
With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.
Check out our latest analysis for Estée Lauder Companies
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.
Over the last three years, Estée Lauder Companies failed to grow earnings per share, which fell 6.8% (annualized).
So we doubt that the market is looking to EPS for its main judge of the company's value. Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.
Languishing at just 1.1%, we doubt the dividend is doing much to prop up the share price. It could be that the revenue growth of 6.5% per year is viewed as evidence that Estée Lauder Companies is growing. If the company is being managed for the long term good, today's shareholders might be right to hold on.
The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
Estée Lauder Companies is a well known stock, with plenty of analyst coverage, suggesting some visibility into future growth. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. We note that for Estée Lauder Companies the TSR over the last 3 years was 68%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
While it's certainly disappointing to see that Estée Lauder Companies shares lost 9.2% throughout the year, that wasn't as bad as the market loss of 12%. Of course, the long term returns are far more important and the good news is that over five years, the stock has returned 11% for each year. It could be that the business is just facing some short term problems, but shareholders should keep a close eye on the fundamentals. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Estée Lauder Companies better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - Estée Lauder Companies has 3 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
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 American exchanges.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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