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The simplest way to invest in stocks is to buy exchange traded funds. But investors can boost returns by picking market-beating companies to own shares in. For example, the Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ:APOG) share price is up 96% in the last 1 year, clearly besting the market return of around 30% (not including dividends). If it can keep that out-performance up over the long term, investors will do very well! However, the stock hasn't done so well in the longer term, with the stock only up 27% in three years.
Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.
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...' By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
Over the last twelve months, Apogee Enterprises actually shrank its EPS by 92%.
So we don't think that investors are paying too much attention to EPS. Indeed, when EPS is declining but the share price is up, it often means the market is considering other factors.
We doubt the modest 1.7% dividend yield is doing much to support the share price. Revenue was pretty stable on last year, so deeper research might be needed to explain the share price rise.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Apogee Enterprises, it has a TSR of 100% for the last 1 year. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that Apogee Enterprises shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 100% over one year. And that does include the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 2% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. 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. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 4 warning signs for Apogee Enterprises you should know about.
We will like Apogee Enterprises better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US 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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