If you buy and hold a stock for many years, you'd hope to be making a profit. Furthermore, you'd generally like to see the share price rise faster than the market But Edison International (NYSE:EIX) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 28% over five years, which is below the market return. Looking at the last year alone, the stock is up 8.8%.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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.
Edison International's earnings per share are down 34% per year, despite strong share price performance over five years. The impact of extraordinary items on earnings, in the last year, partially explain the diversion.
This means it's unlikely the market is judging the company based on earnings growth. Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.
The revenue reduction of 0.2% per year is not a positive. It certainly surprises us that the share price is up, but perhaps a closer examination of the data will yield answers.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
Edison International is a well known stock, with plenty of analyst coverage, suggesting some visibility into future growth. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Edison International will earn in the future (free analyst consensus estimates)
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. We note that for Edison International the TSR over the last 5 years was 50%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Edison International shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 13% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 8.5% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. Keeping this in mind, a solid next step might be to take a look at Edison International's dividend track record. This free interactive graph is a great place to start.
Of course Edison International 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 US exchanges.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.