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, the PetMed Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:PETS) share price is up 58% in the last 5 years, clearly besting than the market return of around 40% (ignoring dividends).
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just 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).
Over half a decade, PetMed Express managed to grow its earnings per share at 17% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 9.6% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems the market isn’t so enthusiastic about the stock these days. The reasonably low P/E ratio of 11.00 also suggests market apprehension.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that PetMed Express 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. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of PetMed Express, it has a TSR of 91% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 4.0% in the last year, PetMed Express shareholders lost 49% (even including dividends). Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn’t be so upset, since they would have made 14%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. If you would like to research PetMed Express in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
But note: PetMed Express 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.