It hasn't been the best quarter for Smith & Nephew plc (LON:SN.) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 10% in that time. On the bright side the returns have been quite good over the last half decade. Its return of 23% has certainly bested the market return! Unfortunately not all shareholders will have held it for the long term, so spare a thought for those caught in the 18% decline over the last twelve months.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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).
Smith & Nephew's earnings per share are down 6.4% per year, despite strong share price performance over five years.
The strong decline in earnings per share suggests the market isn't using EPS to judge the company. Given that EPS is down, but the share price is up, it seems clear the market is focussed on other aspects of the business, at the moment.
The revenue growth of 1.5% per year hardly seems impressive. So why is the share price up? It's not immediately obvious to us, but a closer look at the company's progress over time might yield answers.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. If you are thinking of buying or selling Smith & Nephew stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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 Smith & Nephew, it has a TSR of 36% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
The total return of 16% received by Smith & Nephew shareholders over the last year isn't far from the market return of -16%. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 6%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data remains strong, and the share price is simply down on sentiment, then this could be an opportunity worth investigating. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. To that end, you should be aware of the 4 warning signs we've spotted with Smith & Nephew .
Smith & Nephew is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB exchanges.
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. 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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