The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. But more than that, you probably want to see it rise more than the market average. But Federated Hermes, Inc. (NYSE:FHI) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 24% over five years, which is below the market return. Looking at the last year alone, the stock is up 7.4%.
So let's investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.
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 imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
Over half a decade, Federated Hermes managed to grow its earnings per share at 5.6% a year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 4% over the same period. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.
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. We note that for Federated Hermes the TSR over the last 5 years was 54%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Federated Hermes shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 11% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 9% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for Federated Hermes you should be aware of.
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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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.
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