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If You Had Bought AAR (NYSE:AIR) Shares Three Years Ago You'd Have Made 68%

Simply Wall St

By buying an index fund, investors can approximate the average market return. But if you choose individual stocks with prowess, you can make superior returns. Just take a look at AAR Corp. (NYSE:AIR), which is up 68%, over three years, soundly beating the market return of 29% (not including dividends).

View our latest analysis for AAR

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.

AAR was able to grow its EPS at 23% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. This EPS growth is higher than the 19% average annual increase in the share price. So one could reasonably conclude that the market has cooled on the stock.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

NYSE:AIR Past and Future Earnings, August 24th 2019

We know that AAR has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? If you're interested, you could check this free report showing consensus revenue forecasts.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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 AAR, it has a TSR of 72% for the last 3 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

While the broader market lost about 0.8% in the twelve months, AAR shareholders did even worse, losing 10% (even including dividends). Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 9.2% per year over half a decade. 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. If you would like to research AAR in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.

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.

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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.