These days it's easy to simply buy an index fund, and your returns should (roughly) match the market. But investors can boost returns by picking market-beating companies to own shares in. To wit, the Copa Holdings, S.A. (NYSE:CPA) share price is 34% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 6.9% (not including dividends) in the same period. That's a solid performance by our standards! However, the stock hasn't done so well in the longer term, with the stock only up 7.3% in three years.
Given that Copa Holdings only made minimal earnings in the last twelve months, we'll focus on revenue to gauge its business development. As a general rule, we think this kind of company is more comparable to loss-making stocks, since the actual profit is so low. For shareholders to have confidence a company will grow profits significantly, it must grow revenue.
Copa Holdings actually shrunk its revenue over the last year, with a reduction of 1.3%. The stock is up 34% in that time, a fine performance given the revenue drop. To us that means that there isn't a lot of correlation between the past revenue performance and the share price, but a closer look at analyst forecasts and the bottom line may well explain a lot.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
Copa Holdings is a well known stock, with plenty of analyst coverage, suggesting some visibility into future growth. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus 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. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Copa Holdings, it has a TSR of 38% for the last year. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Copa Holdings shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 38% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 2.6%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. You might want to assess this data-rich visualization of its earnings, revenue and cash flow.
We will like Copa Holdings better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, 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.
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 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.