The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE:COO) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 14% in the last quarter. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last five years have been pleasing. After all, the share price is up a market-beating 77% in that time.
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 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).
Over half a decade, Cooper Companies managed to grow its earnings per share at 8.0% a year. This EPS growth is lower than the 12% average annual increase in the share price. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did five years ago. That's not necessarily surprising considering the five-year track record of earnings growth.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
A Different Perspective
Cooper Companies shareholders are up 12% for the year (even including dividends) . But that was short of the market average. It's probably a good sign that the company has an even better long term track record, having provided shareholders with an annual TSR of 12% over five years. Maybe the share price is just taking a breather while the business executes on its growth strategy. If you would like to research Cooper Companies in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
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 US exchanges.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.