When you buy shares in a company, it's worth keeping in mind the possibility that it could fail, and you could lose your money. But on the bright side, if you buy shares in a high quality company at the right price, you can gain well over 100%. For example, the ResMed Inc. (NYSE:RMD) share price has soared 102% in the last half decade. Most would be very happy with that. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 35% gain in the last three months. But this move may well have been assisted by the reasonably buoyant market (up 17% in 90 days).
The past week has proven to be lucrative for ResMed investors, so let's see if fundamentals drove the company's five-year performance.
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 way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
During five years of share price growth, ResMed achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 14% per year. This EPS growth is reasonably close to the 15% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore one could conclude that sentiment towards the shares hasn't morphed very much. Indeed, it would appear the share price is reacting to the EPS.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.
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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, ResMed's TSR for the last 5 years was 111%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
Investors in ResMed had a tough year, with a total loss of 14% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 20%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 16%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. Before spending more time on ResMed it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.
For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on American 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.