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Knoll, Inc. (NYSE:KNL) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 15% in the last quarter. But that doesn't help the fact that the three year return is less impressive. After all, the share price is down 10% in the last three years, significantly under-performing the market.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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).
Although the share price is down over three years, Knoll actually managed to grow EPS by 2.9% per year in that time. This is quite a puzzle, and suggests there might be something temporarily buoying the share price. Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past. With EPS gaining and a declining share price, one would suggest the market is cooling on its view of the company. Of course, this could spell opportunity because if the EPS growth continues long term, it seems very likely the share price will rise too.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Knoll's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Knoll's TSR for the last 3 years was -2.5%, 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
Knoll shareholders are up 0.7% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. If we look back over five years, the returns are even better, coming in at 3.5% per year for five years. It may well be that this is a business worth popping on the watching, given the continuing positive reception, over time, from the market. If you would like to research Knoll 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 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.