We think that it's fair to say that the possibility of finding fantastic multi-year winners is what motivates many investors. Not every pick can be a winner, but when you pick the right stock, you can win big. For example, the Range Resources Corporation (NYSE:RRC) share price is up a whopping 330% in the last three years, a handsome return for long term holders. On the other hand, the stock price has retraced 5.8% in the last week.
Since the long term performance has been good but there's been a recent pullback of 5.8%, let's check if the fundamentals match the share price.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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.
Range Resources became profitable within the last three years. That kind of transition can be an inflection point that justifies a strong share price gain, just as we have seen here.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
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. We note that for Range Resources the TSR over the last 3 years was 334%, 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 the broader market gained around 1.7% in the last year, Range Resources shareholders lost 18% (even including dividends). Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 12%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Range Resources better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Range Resources you should be aware of, and 1 of them is a bit unpleasant.
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.
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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