U.S. Markets closed

Clearway Energy (NYSE:CWEN.A) Has Gifted Shareholders With A Fantastic 126% Total Return On Their Investment

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • CWEN
  • CWEN-A

The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Better yet, you'd like to see the share price move up more than the market average. But Clearway Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CWEN.A) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 70% over five years, which is below the market return. However, if you include the dividends then the return is market beating. Over the last twelve months the stock price has risen a very respectable 20%.

Check out our latest analysis for Clearway Energy

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).

Clearway Energy's earnings per share are down 11% per year, despite strong share price performance over five years.

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.

In fact, the dividend has increased over time, which is a positive. It could be that the company is reaching maturity and dividend investors are buying for the yield. The revenue growth of about 3.4% per year might also encourage buyers.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

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. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Clearway Energy

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Clearway Energy's TSR for the last 5 years was 126%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

Clearway Energy provided a TSR of 26% over the last twelve months. But that return falls short of the market. The silver lining is that the gain was actually better than the average annual return of 18% per year over five year. It is possible that returns will improve along with the business fundamentals. 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. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Clearway Energy (1 is potentially serious) that you should be aware of.

Clearway Energy is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with 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. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.