One simple way to benefit from the stock market is to buy an index fund. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. For example, Rolls-Royce Holdings plc ( LON:RR. ) shareholders have seen the share price rise 47% over three years, well in excess of the market return (17%, not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 13% in the last year, including dividends.
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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 flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
Rolls-Royce Holdings was able to grow its EPS at 44% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. This EPS growth is higher than the 14% average annual increase in the share price. So one could reasonably conclude that the market has cooled on the stock.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Rolls-Royce Holdings'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 Rolls-Royce Holdings the TSR over the last 3 years was 54%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Rolls-Royce Holdings shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 13% over the last year. That's including the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 0.4% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares - and the price they paid.
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 GB 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 email@example.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.