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Shareholders of KKR (NYSE:KKR) Must Be Delighted With Their 386% Total Return

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For many, the main point of investing in the stock market is to achieve spectacular returns. While the best companies are hard to find, but they can generate massive returns over long periods. Just think about the savvy investors who held KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE:KKR) shares for the last five years, while they gained 330%. If that doesn't get you thinking about long term investing, we don't know what will. On top of that, the share price is up 40% in about a quarter.

See our latest analysis for KKR

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 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, KKR achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 26% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 34% average annual increase in the share price. 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).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, KKR's TSR for the last 5 years was 386%, 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

We're pleased to report that KKR shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 136% over one year. And that does include the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 37% 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. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand KKR better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for KKR you should be aware of, and 1 of them is significant.

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.

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. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.