Want to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and you could win a $250 gift card!
Thanks in no small measure to Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, it's easy buy a low cost index fund, which should provide the average market return. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. For example, the Franklin Electric Co., Inc. (NASDAQ:FELE) share price is up 43% in the last three years, slightly above the market return. The stock price is up 4.7%: that's not amazing, but it's better than a kick in the teeth.
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 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 three years of share price growth, Franklin Electric achieved compound earnings per share growth of 13% per year. This EPS growth is remarkably close to the 13% average annual increase in the share price. This suggests that sentiment and expectations have not changed drastically. Au contraire, the share price change has arguably mimicked the EPS growth.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that Franklin Electric has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst 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. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Franklin Electric's TSR for the last 3 years was 48%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Franklin Electric provided a TSR of 5.9% over the year (including dividends). That's fairly close to the broader market return. Most would be happy with a gain, and it helps that the year's return is actually better than the average return over five years, which was 5.9%. Even if the share price growth slows down from here, there's a good chance that this is business worth watching in the long term. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
But note: Franklin Electric may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
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 email@example.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.