Advertisement
UK markets closed
  • FTSE 100

    8,155.72
    -49.17 (-0.60%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    21,067.68
    -166.48 (-0.78%)
     
  • AIM

    784.13
    -3.54 (-0.45%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.1866
    -0.0009 (-0.08%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2915
    -0.0032 (-0.25%)
     
  • Bitcoin GBP

    51,685.11
    +115.37 (+0.22%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,377.31
    +46.41 (+3.49%)
     
  • S&P 500

    5,505.00
    -39.59 (-0.71%)
     
  • DOW

    40,287.53
    -377.49 (-0.93%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    80.25
    -2.57 (-3.10%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    2,402.80
    -53.60 (-2.18%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    40,063.79
    -62.56 (-0.16%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    17,417.68
    -360.73 (-2.03%)
     
  • DAX

    18,171.93
    -182.83 (-1.00%)
     
  • CAC 40

    7,534.52
    -52.03 (-0.69%)
     

Strategic Education's (NASDAQ:STRA) three-year earnings growth trails the 19% YoY shareholder returns

By buying an index fund, investors can approximate the average market return. But many of us dare to dream of bigger returns, and build a portfolio ourselves. For example, Strategic Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:STRA) shareholders have seen the share price rise 53% over three years, well in excess of the market return (14%, not including dividends).

The past week has proven to be lucrative for Strategic Education investors, so let's see if fundamentals drove the company's three-year performance.

See our latest analysis for Strategic Education

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Strategic Education was able to grow its EPS at 17% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. We don't think it is entirely coincidental that the EPS growth is reasonably close to the 15% average annual increase in the share price. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time. Au contraire, the share price change has arguably mimicked the EPS growth.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

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

It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Strategic Education's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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, Strategic Education's TSR for the last 3 years was 68%, 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 Strategic Education shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 50% over the last year. That's including the dividend. That certainly beats the loss of about 5% per year over the last half decade. The long term loss makes us cautious, but the short term TSR gain certainly hints at a brighter future. 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. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Strategic Education you should know about.

Strategic Education is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find lesser know companies 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 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.