The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Better yet, you'd like to see the share price move up more than the market average. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY) share price is up 44% in the last five years, that's less than the market return. Over the last twelve months the stock price has risen a very respectable 7.2%.
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 flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
Over half a decade, KeyCorp managed to grow its earnings per share at 9.7% a year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 7.6% over the same period. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company. The reasonably low P/E ratio of 11.96 also suggests market apprehension.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We know that KeyCorp 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?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of KeyCorp, it has a TSR of 64% 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
KeyCorp provided a TSR of 11% over the last twelve months. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. The silver lining is that the gain was actually better than the average annual return of 10% per year over five year. It is possible that returns will improve along with the business fundamentals. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
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 US exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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