Vector Limited (NZSE:VCT) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 10% in the last quarter. But at least the stock is up over the last five years. In that time, it is up 17%, which isn't bad, but is below the market return of 36%.
So let's investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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 five years of share price growth, Vector actually saw its EPS drop 0.9% per year.
With EPS falling, but a modestly increasing share price, it seems that the market was probably too pessimistic about the stock in the past. Having said that, if the EPS falls continue we'd be surprised to see a sustained increase in share price.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.
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. In the case of Vector, it has a TSR of 48% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Vector shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 5.0% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividend. However, the TSR over five years, coming in at 8% per year, is even more impressive. Potential buyers might understandably feel they've missed the opportunity, but it's always possible business is still firing on all cylinders. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Vector better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Vector you should know about.
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.
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.
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