For many, the main point of investing is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But even the best stock picker will only win with some selections. So we wouldn’t blame long term Edison International (NYSE:EIX) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 23% over a half decade. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 16% in the last 90 days. Of course, this share price action may well have been influenced by the 9.9% decline in the broader market, throughout the period.
It’s worthwhile assessing if the company’s economics have been moving in lockstep with these underwhelming shareholder returns, or if there is some disparity between the two. So let’s do just that.
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 five years of share price growth, Edison International moved from a loss to profitability. That would generally be considered a positive, so we are surprised to see the share price is down. Other metrics might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.
The steady dividend doesn’t really explain why the share price is down. While it’s not completely obvious why the share price is down, a closer look at the company’s history might help explain it.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
Edison International is a well known stock, with plenty of analyst coverage, suggesting some visibility into future growth. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts
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. As it happens, Edison International’s TSR for the last 5 years was -5.5%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
We’re pleased to report that Edison International shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 13% over one year. Of course, that includes the dividend. Notably the five-year annualised TSR loss of 1.1% per year compares very unfavourably with the recent share price performance. The long term loss makes us cautious, but the short term TSR gain certainly hints at a brighter future. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Edison International better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we’ve identified 4 warning signs for Edison International (2 are a bit concerning) that you should be aware of.
Of course Edison International may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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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