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Investing in CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) five years ago would have delivered you a 96% gain

·3-min read

It hasn't been the best quarter for CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CME) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 11% in that time. But at least the stock is up over the last five years. However we are not very impressed because the share price is only up 68%, less than the market return of 72%.

Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.

Check out our latest analysis for CME Group

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

Over half a decade, CME Group managed to grow its earnings per share at 10% a year. That makes the EPS growth particularly close to the yearly share price growth of 11%. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time. Indeed, it would appear the share price is reacting to the EPS.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on CME Group'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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of CME Group, it has a TSR of 96% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

While it's never nice to take a loss, CME Group shareholders can take comfort that , including dividends,their trailing twelve month loss of 0.5% wasn't as bad as the market loss of around 14%. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 14%, each year, over five years. It could be that the business is just facing some short term problems, but shareholders should keep a close eye on the fundamentals. 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. For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for CME Group that 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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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