The simplest way to invest in stocks is to buy exchange traded funds. But you can significantly boost your returns by picking above-average stocks. For example, the Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE:R) share price is up 68% in the last 1 year, clearly besting the market return of around 25% (not including dividends). That's a solid performance by our standards! However, the longer term returns haven't been so impressive, with the stock up just 21% in the last 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.
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.
Ryder System went from making a loss to reporting a profit, in the last year.
When a company has just transitioned to profitability, earnings per share growth is not always the best way to look at the share price action.
We think that the revenue growth of 4.8% could have some investors interested. Many businesses do go through a phase where they have to forgo some profits to drive business development, and sometimes its for the best.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We know that Ryder System has improved its bottom line lately, but what does the future have in store? If you are thinking of buying or selling Ryder System stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.
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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Ryder System, it has a TSR of 73% 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
It's good to see that Ryder System has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 73% in the last twelve months. And that does include the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 9% 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. To that end, you should be aware of the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Ryder System .
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
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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