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Generally speaking the aim of active stock picking is to find companies that provide returns that are superior to the market average. And while active stock picking involves risks (and requires diversification) it can also provide excess returns. To wit, the Tootsie Roll Industries share price has climbed 57% in five years, easily topping the market return of 39% (ignoring dividends). On the other hand, the more recent gains haven't been so impressive, with shareholders gaining just 37%, including dividends.
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...' By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
Over half a decade, Tootsie Roll Industries managed to grow its earnings per share at 0.2% a year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 9.5% 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 company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
This free interactive report on Tootsie Roll Industries's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Tootsie Roll Industries's TSR for the last 5 years was 65%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that Tootsie Roll Industries shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 37% over one year. That's including the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 11% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. Is Tootsie Roll Industries cheap compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.
We will like Tootsie Roll Industries better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.