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. For example, long term Ryman Healthcare Limited (NZSE:RYM) shareholders have enjoyed a 56% share price rise over the last half decade, well in excess of the market return of around 31% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 11% in the last year , including dividends .
The past week has proven to be lucrative for Ryman Healthcare investors, so let's see if fundamentals drove the company's five-year performance.
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 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.
During five years of share price growth, Ryman Healthcare achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 6.7% per year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 9% 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.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
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 Ryman Healthcare's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Ryman Healthcare's TSR for the last 5 years was 71%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Ryman Healthcare's TSR for the year was broadly in line with the market average, at 11%. We should note here that the five-year TSR is more impressive, at 11% per year. Although the share price growth has slowed, the longer term story points to a business well worth watching. 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. Even so, be aware that Ryman Healthcare is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is concerning...
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 NZ exchanges.
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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