It hasn't been the best quarter for Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 10% in that time. Looking further back, the stock has generated good profits over five years. After all, the share price is up a market-beating 99% in that time.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
During five years of share price growth, Graco achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 11% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 15% average annual increase in the share price. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. And that's hardly shocking given the track record of growth.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We know that Graco has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? This free report showing analyst revenue forecasts should help you figure out if the EPS growth can be sustained.
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 incorporates the value of any spin-offs or 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. As it happens, Graco's TSR for the last 5 years was 114%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Graco shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 4.6% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. However, the TSR over five years, coming in at 16% per year, is even more impressive. Potential buyers might understandably feel they've missed the opportunity, but it's always possible business is still firing on all cylinders. Before spending more time on Graco it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.
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.
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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.