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Low-cost index funds make it easy to achieve average market returns. But in any diversified portfolio of stocks, you'll see some that fall short of the average. For example, the Thor Industries, Inc. (NYSE:THO) share price return of 64% over three years lags the market return in the same period. Looking at more recent returns, the stock is up 6.6% in a year.
While this past week has detracted from the company's three-year return, let's look at the recent trends of the underlying business and see if the gains have been in alignment.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.
During three years of share price growth, Thor Industries achieved compound earnings per share growth of 13% per year. In comparison, the 18% per year gain in the share price outpaces the EPS growth. This suggests that, as the business progressed over the last few years, it gained the confidence of market participants. That's not necessarily surprising considering the three-year track record of earnings growth.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We know that Thor Industries 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. As it happens, Thor Industries' TSR for the last 3 years was 76%, 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
Thor Industries provided a TSR of 8.2% over the last twelve months. But that return falls short of the market. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it's actually better than the average return of 2% over half a decade This suggests the company might be improving over time. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Thor Industries better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for Thor Industries that you should be aware of.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
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.