As an investor its worth striving to ensure your overall portfolio beats the market average. But its virtually certain that sometimes you will buy stocks that fall short of the market average returns. We regret to report that long term State Street Corporation (NYSE:STT) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 33% in three years, versus a market return of about 28%. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 22% in the last three months. This could be related to the recent financial results - you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report.
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
During the unfortunate three years of share price decline, State Street actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 2.7% per year. This is quite a puzzle, and suggests there might be something temporarily buoying the share price. Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.
It looks to us like the market was probably too optimistic around growth three years ago. However, taking a look at other business metrics might shed a bit more light on the share price action.
Revenue is actually up 3.8% over the three years, so the share price drop doesn't seem to hinge on revenue, either. It's probably worth investigating State Street further; while we may be missing something on this analysis, there might also be an opportunity.
The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on State Street
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 is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for State Street the TSR over the last 3 years was -27%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Investors in State Street had a tough year, with a total loss of 3.0% (including dividends) , against a market gain of about 6.1%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Unfortunately, longer term shareholders are suffering worse, given the loss of 4.3% doled out over the last five years. We would want clear information suggesting the company will grow, before taking the view that the share price will stabilize. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand State Street better, we need to consider many other factors. Even so, be aware that State Street is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is concerning...
State Street 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.
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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. Thank you for reading.