New Zealand markets closed
  • NZX 50

    11,065.71
    -134.33 (-1.20%)
     
  • NZD/USD

    0.5710
    -0.0021 (-0.36%)
     
  • NZD/EUR

    0.5817
    -0.0016 (-0.27%)
     
  • ALL ORDS

    6,678.70
    -81.90 (-1.21%)
     
  • ASX 200

    6,474.20
    -80.80 (-1.23%)
     
  • OIL

    81.90
    +0.67 (+0.82%)
     
  • GOLD

    1,676.40
    +7.80 (+0.47%)
     
  • NASDAQ

    11,164.78
    -329.05 (-2.86%)
     
  • FTSE

    6,922.68
    +41.09 (+0.60%)
     
  • Dow Jones

    29,225.61
    -458.13 (-1.54%)
     
  • DAX

    12,064.83
    +89.28 (+0.75%)
     
  • Hang Seng

    17,222.83
    +56.96 (+0.33%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    25,937.21
    -484.84 (-1.83%)
     
  • NZD/JPY

    82.4080
    -0.3390 (-0.41%)
     

Investing in Cousins Properties (NYSE:CUZ) five years ago would have delivered you a 34% gain

·3-min read

When you buy and hold a stock for the long term, you definitely want it to provide a positive return. Furthermore, you'd generally like to see the share price rise faster than the market. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Cousins Properties Incorporated (NYSE:CUZ) share price is up 14% in the last five years, that's less than the market return. Zooming in, the stock is up a respectable 7.2% in the last year.

Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.

View our latest analysis for Cousins Properties

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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, Cousins Properties managed to grow its earnings per share at 15% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 3% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days.

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

We know that Cousins Properties has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? Take a more thorough look at Cousins Properties' financial health with this free report on its balance sheet.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Cousins Properties the TSR over the last 5 years was 34%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that Cousins Properties shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 11% over one year. And that does include the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 6%. 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. 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. For instance, we've identified 4 warning signs for Cousins Properties (2 shouldn't be ignored) that you should be aware of.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US 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.