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Is McCormick's (NYSE:MKC) 117% Share Price Increase Well Justified?

Simply Wall St

The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. But on the bright side, if you buy shares in a high quality company at the right price, you can gain well over 100%. Long term McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE:MKC) shareholders would be well aware of this, since the stock is up 117% in five years. The last week saw the share price soften some 1.1%.

Check out our latest analysis for McCormick

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.

Over half a decade, McCormick managed to grow its earnings per share at 11% a year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 17% per year, over the same period. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did five years ago. And that's hardly shocking given the track record of growth.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

NYSE:MKC Past and Future Earnings, November 5th 2019

Dive deeper into McCormick's key metrics by checking this interactive graph of McCormick's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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, McCormick's TSR for the last 5 years was 138%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

McCormick shareholders are up 9.5% for the year (even including dividends) . But that return falls short of the market. On the bright side, the longer term returns (running at about 19% 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.

But note: McCormick 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 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.