Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN) shareholders have earned a 15% CAGR over the last five years
Stock pickers are generally looking for stocks that will outperform the broader market. And while active stock picking involves risks (and requires diversification) it can also provide excess returns. For example, long term Waste Connections, Inc. (NYSE:WCN) shareholders have enjoyed a 91% share price rise over the last half decade, well in excess of the market return of around 44% (not including dividends).
Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.
See our latest analysis for Waste Connections
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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, Waste Connections managed to grow its earnings per share at 18% a year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 14% over the same period. So one could conclude that the broader market has become more cautious towards the stock.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. This free interactive report on Waste Connections' earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
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 incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Waste Connections' TSR for the last 5 years was 98%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
While it's never nice to take a loss, Waste Connections shareholders can take comfort that , including dividends,their trailing twelve month loss of 1.7% wasn't as bad as the market loss of around 21%. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 15%, each year, over five years. In the best case scenario the last year is just a temporary blip on the journey to a brighter future. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Waste Connections better, we need to consider many other factors. Even so, be aware that Waste Connections is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about...
But note: Waste Connections may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
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.
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