When you buy a stock there is always a possibility that it could drop 100%. But on the bright side, if you buy shares in a high quality company at the right price, you can gain well over 100%. One great example is Rollins, Inc. (NYSE:ROL) which saw its share price drive 116% higher over five years. In the last week shares have slid back 1.3%.
So let's assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 5 years and see if they've moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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, Rollins managed to grow its earnings per share at 16% a year. This EPS growth is remarkably close to the 17% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore one could conclude that sentiment towards the shares hasn't morphed very much. In fact, the share price seems to largely reflect the EPS growth.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that Rollins 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. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Rollins, it has a TSR of 129% 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
Rollins shareholders are up 2.8% for the year (even including dividends). But that was short of the market average. On the bright side, the longer term returns (running at about 18% 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. If you would like to research Rollins in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
Of course Rollins may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.