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The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. But on the bright side, you can make far more than 100% on a really good stock. For example, the Parker-Hannifin Corporation (NYSE:PH) share price has soared 182% in the last half decade. Most would be very happy with that. On top of that, the share price is up 13% in about a quarter. But this move may well have been assisted by the reasonably buoyant market (up 8.9% in 90 days).
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 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.
During five years of share price growth, Parker-Hannifin achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 13% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 23% average annual increase in the share price. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. That's not necessarily surprising considering the five-year track record of earnings growth.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. In the case of Parker-Hannifin, it has a TSR of 208% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Parker-Hannifin shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 136% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 25% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Parker-Hannifin better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Parker-Hannifin 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.
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.
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