Advertisement
New Zealand markets closed
  • NZX 50

    11,699.79
    -28.27 (-0.24%)
     
  • NZD/USD

    0.6136
    +0.0015 (+0.24%)
     
  • NZD/EUR

    0.5637
    +0.0008 (+0.15%)
     
  • ALL ORDS

    8,082.30
    -67.80 (-0.83%)
     
  • ASX 200

    7,814.40
    -66.90 (-0.85%)
     
  • OIL

    80.00
    +0.77 (+0.97%)
     
  • GOLD

    2,419.80
    +34.30 (+1.44%)
     
  • NASDAQ

    18,546.23
    -11.73 (-0.06%)
     
  • FTSE

    8,420.26
    -18.39 (-0.22%)
     
  • Dow Jones

    40,003.59
    +134.21 (+0.34%)
     
  • DAX

    18,704.42
    -34.39 (-0.18%)
     
  • Hang Seng

    19,553.61
    +177.08 (+0.91%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    38,787.38
    -132.88 (-0.34%)
     
  • NZD/JPY

    95.4860
    +0.4250 (+0.45%)
     

Moody's' (NYSE:MCO) earnings growth rate lags the 16% CAGR delivered to shareholders

When we invest, we're generally looking for stocks that outperform the market average. And in our experience, buying the right stocks can give your wealth a significant boost. To wit, the Moody's share price has climbed 99% in five years, easily topping the market return of 67% (ignoring dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 24% in the last year , including dividends .

While this past week has detracted from the company's five-year return, let's look at the recent trends of the underlying business and see if the gains have been in alignment.

View our latest analysis for Moody's

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

During five years of share price growth, Moody's achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 5.2% per year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 15% per year, over the same period. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did five years ago. That's not necessarily surprising considering the five-year track record of earnings growth.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

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

We know that Moody's has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? This free report showing analyst revenue forecasts should help you figure out if the EPS growth can be sustained.

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 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. In the case of Moody's, it has a TSR of 108% 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

Moody's' TSR for the year was broadly in line with the market average, at 24%. Most would be happy with a gain, and it helps that the year's return is actually better than the average return over five years, which was 16%. It is possible that management foresight will bring growth well into the future, even if the share price slows down. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Moody's better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Moody's , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

Of course Moody's may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.

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.