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Those who invested in Reliance Worldwide (ASX:RWC) a year ago are up 27%

Passive investing in index funds can generate returns that roughly match the overall market. But one can do better than that by picking better than average stocks (as part of a diversified portfolio). To wit, the Reliance Worldwide Corporation Limited (ASX:RWC) share price is 23% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 4.3% (not including dividends) in the same period. That's a solid performance by our standards! However, the stock hasn't done so well in the longer term, with the stock only up 7.0% in three years.

Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.

See our latest analysis for Reliance Worldwide

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. 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.

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Over the last twelve months, Reliance Worldwide actually shrank its EPS by 12%.

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.

Revenue was pretty flat year on year, but maybe a closer look at the data can explain the market optimism.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. You can see what analysts are predicting for Reliance Worldwide in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.

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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Reliance Worldwide the TSR over the last 1 year was 27%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Reliance Worldwide shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 27% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 5%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. 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. Take risks, for example - Reliance Worldwide has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on Australian 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.