Investors can buy low cost index fund if they want to receive the average market return. But if you invest in individual stocks, some are likely to underperform. For example, the LIC Housing Finance Limited (NSE:LICHSGFIN) share price return of 46% over three years lags the market return in the same period. Zooming in, the stock is up a respectable 7.7% in the last year.
So let’s investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business’ progress.
Check out our latest analysis for LIC Housing Finance
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 imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
LIC Housing Finance was able to grow its EPS at 3.3% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. In comparison, the 13% per year gain in the share price outpaces the EPS growth. So it’s fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did three years ago. That’s not necessarily surprising considering the three-year track record of earnings growth.
The company’s earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We’re pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of LIC Housing Finance’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, LIC Housing Finance’s TSR for the last 3 years was 56%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
LIC Housing Finance provided a TSR of 9.9% over the last twelve months. But that return falls short of the market. But at least that’s still a gain! Over five years the TSR has been a reduction of 3% per year, over five years. It could well be that the business is stabilizing. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Even so, be aware that LIC Housing Finance is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is a bit concerning…
If you would prefer to check out another company — one with potentially superior financials — then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on Indian 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.