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If You Had Bought Ryder System (NYSE:R) Stock Five Years Ago, You'd Be Sitting On A 38% Loss, Today

Simply Wall St

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Ideally, your overall portfolio should beat the market average. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE:R), since the last five years saw the share price fall 38%. On top of that, the share price has dropped a further 15% in a month.

Check out our latest analysis for Ryder System

In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

During the unfortunate half decade during which the share price slipped, Ryder System actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 2.4% per year. So it doesn't seem like EPS is a great guide to understanding how the market is valuing the stock. Or possibly, the market was previously very optimistic, so the stock has disappointed, despite improving EPS. By glancing at these numbers, we'd posit that the the market had expectations of much higher growth, five years ago. Looking to other metrics might better explain the share price change.

The steady dividend doesn't really explain why the share price is down. It's not immediately clear to us why the stock price is down but further research might provide some answers.

The graphic below shows how revenue and earnings have changed as management guided the business forward. If you want to see cashflow, you can click on the chart.

NYSE:R Income Statement, June 7th 2019

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Ryder System will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Ryder System, it has a TSR of -30% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

Ryder System shareholders are down 19% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 1.4%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 6.9% per year over five years. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

Ryder System is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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.