When you buy a stock there is always a possibility that it could drop 100%. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. Long term Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) shareholders would be well aware of this, since the stock is up 296% in five years. On top of that, the share price is up 27% in about a quarter. The company reported its financial results recently; you can catch up on the latest numbers by reading our company report.
See our latest analysis for Lithia Motors
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 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.
During five years of share price growth, Lithia Motors achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 23% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 32% average annual increase in the share price. So it’s fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did five years ago. And that’s hardly shocking given the track record of growth.
The company’s earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We know that Lithia Motors has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? This free report showing analyst revenue forecasts should help you figure out if the EPS growth can be sustained.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Lithia Motors, it has a TSR of 317% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
We’re pleased to report that Lithia Motors shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 239% over one year. That’s including the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 33% per year), it would seem that the stock’s performance has improved in recent times. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. 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. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we’ve spotted 4 warning signs for Lithia Motors (of which 1 is concerning!) you should know about.
We will like Lithia Motors better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
If you decide to trade Lithia Motors, use the lowest-cost* platform that is rated #1 Overall by Barron’s, Interactive Brokers. Trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds on 135 markets, all from a single integrated account.
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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.