Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 15% in the last month. But that scarcely detracts from the really solid long term returns generated by the company over five years. Indeed, the share price is up an impressive 104% in that time. So while it’s never fun to see a share price fall, it’s important to look at a longer time horizon. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s cheap now.
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 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 five years of share price growth, Service International achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 29% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 15% over the same period. So one could conclude that the broader market has become more cautious towards the stock.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
This free interactive report on Service International’s earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
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. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Service International the TSR over the last 5 years was 122%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Service International shareholders gained a total return of 2.4% during the year. But that return falls short of the market. On the bright side, the longer term returns (running at about 17% a year, over half a decade) look better. It’s quite possible the business continues to execute with prowess, even as the share price gains are slowing. 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.
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.