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Did You Participate In Any Of American Electric Power Company's (NASDAQ:AEP) Respectable 59% Return?

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Simply Wall St
·3 min read
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The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Furthermore, you'd generally like to see the share price rise faster than the market Unfortunately for shareholders, while the American Electric Power Company, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEP) share price is up 36% in the last five years, that's less than the market return. The last year has been disappointing, with the stock price down 19% in that time.

See our latest analysis for American Electric Power Company

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. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

During five years of share price growth, American Electric Power Company achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 2.0% per year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 6% per year, over the same period. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. And that's hardly shocking given the track record of growth.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

This free interactive report on American Electric Power Company's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of American Electric Power Company, it has a TSR of 59% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Investors in American Electric Power Company had a tough year, with a total loss of 17% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 27%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 10%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. 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 2 warning signs for American Electric Power Company (1 is a bit unpleasant) that you should be aware of.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are 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.