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Worley (ASX:WOR) Has Gifted Shareholders With A Fantastic 106% Total Return On Their Investment

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Simply Wall St
·3 min read
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Worley Limited (ASX:WOR) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 14% in the last quarter. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last five years have been respectable. The share price is up 75%, which is better than the market return of 70%.

Check out our latest analysis for Worley

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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 the five years of share price growth, Worley moved from a loss to profitability. That would generally be considered a positive, so we'd expect the share price to be up. Given that the company made a profit three years ago, but not five years ago, it is worth looking at the share price returns over the last three years, too. In fact, the Worley stock price is 27% lower in the last three years. In the same period, EPS is up 2.2% per year. It would appear there's a real mismatch between the increasing EPS and the share price, which has declined -10% a year for three years.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Worley's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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 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. We note that for Worley the TSR over the last 5 years was 106%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that Worley has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 67% in the last twelve months. That's including the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 16%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Worley you should be aware of.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.