Generally speaking the aim of active stock picking is to find companies that provide returns that are superior to the market average. And in our experience, buying the right stocks can give your wealth a significant boost. For example, long term CMS Energy Corporation (NYSE:CMS) shareholders have enjoyed a 79% share price rise over the last half decade, well in excess of the market return of around 58% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 36% in the last year , including dividends .
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 imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
Over half a decade, CMS Energy managed to grow its earnings per share at 4.1% a year. This EPS growth is lower than the 12% average annual increase in the share price. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. And that's hardly shocking given the track record of growth.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We know that CMS Energy has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? Check if analysts think CMS Energy will grow revenue in the future.
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 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, CMS Energy's TSR for the last 5 years was 108%, 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
It's good to see that CMS Energy has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 36% in the last twelve months. That's including the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 16% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for CMS Energy that you should be aware of before investing here.
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.
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.
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