InterDigital's (NASDAQ:IDCC) investors will be pleased with their respectable 35% return over the last three years
One simple way to benefit from the stock market is to buy an index fund. But many of us dare to dream of bigger returns, and build a portfolio ourselves. For example, the InterDigital, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDCC) share price is up 26% in the last three years, clearly besting the market return of around 20% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 13% in the last year , including dividends .
Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.
Check out our latest analysis for InterDigital
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
During three years of share price growth, InterDigital achieved compound earnings per share growth of 114% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 8% average annual increase in the share price. So one could reasonably conclude that the market has cooled on the stock.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that InterDigital has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
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 InterDigital, it has a TSR of 35% for the last 3 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
It's nice to see that InterDigital shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 13% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 0.2%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. 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 2 warning signs for InterDigital (1 is a bit unpleasant) that you should be aware of.
We will like InterDigital better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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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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