In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it's worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But in any portfolio, there are likely to be some stocks that fall short of that benchmark. We regret to report that long term Castings P.L.C. (LON:CGS) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 14% in three years, versus a market return of about 17%. Furthermore, it's down 11% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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.
Castings saw its EPS decline at a compound rate of 12% per year, over the last three years. In comparison the 4.8% compound annual share price decline isn't as bad as the EPS drop-off. So, despite the prior disappointment, shareholders must have some confidence the situation will improve, longer term.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We know that Castings has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? If you're interested, you could check this free report showing consensus revenue 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Castings the TSR over the last 3 years was -1.0%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Castings's TSR for the year was broadly in line with the market average, at 4.3%. Most would be happy with a gain, and it helps that the year's return is actually better than the average return over five years, which was 2.5%. Even if the share price growth slows down from here, there's a good chance that this is business worth watching in the long term. Before forming an opinion on Castings you might want to consider the cold hard cash it pays as a dividend. This free chart tracks its dividend over time.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB 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.