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Guess' (NYSE:GES) sheds 4.2% this week, as yearly returns fall more in line with earnings growth

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·3 min read
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When you buy and hold a stock for the long term, you definitely want it to provide a positive return. But more than that, you probably want to see it rise more than the market average. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Guess', Inc. (NYSE:GES) share price is up 70% in the last five years, that's less than the market return. Zooming in, the stock is actually down 7.5% in the last year.

While the stock has fallen 4.2% this week, it's worth focusing on the longer term and seeing if the stocks historical returns have been driven by the underlying fundamentals.

Check out our latest analysis for Guess'

To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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).

During the five years of share price growth, Guess' moved from a loss to profitability. That would generally be considered a positive, so we'd expect the share price to be up.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

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

It is of course excellent to see how Guess' has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. This free interactive report on Guess''s balance sheet strength 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 incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Guess''s TSR for the last 5 years was 103%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Investors in Guess' had a tough year, with a total loss of 5.4% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 7.1%. 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 15%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Guess' better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Guess' 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.