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Should United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) Be Disappointed With Their 22% Profit?

Simply Wall St

The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Better yet, you'd like to see the share price move up more than the market average. But United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 22% over five years, which is below the market return. Zooming in, the stock is up just 2.0% in the last year.

See our latest analysis for United Parcel Service

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, United Parcel Service achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 7.0% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 4.0% over the same period. So one could conclude that the broader market has become more cautious towards the stock.

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

NYSE:UPS Past and Future Earnings, October 1st 2019

This free interactive report on United Parcel Service'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. We note that for United Parcel Service the TSR over the last 5 years was 42%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that United Parcel Service has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 5.6% in the last twelve months. That's including the dividend. However, the TSR over five years, coming in at 7.2% per year, is even more impressive. Before forming an opinion on United Parcel Service you might want to consider the cold hard cash it pays as a dividend. This free chart tracks its dividend over time.

We will like United Parcel Service 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 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.