Low-cost index funds make it easy to achieve average market returns. But across the board there are plenty of stocks that underperform the market. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Randstad N.V. (AMS:RAND) share price is up 14% in the last three years, that falls short of the market return. In the last year the stock price gained, albeit only 2.4%.
So let's investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.
View our latest analysis for Randstad
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
Randstad was able to grow its EPS at 12% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. The average annual share price increase of 4% is actually lower than the EPS growth. Therefore, it seems the market has moderated its expectations for growth, somewhat.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
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. This free interactive report on Randstad's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
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, Randstad's TSR for the last 3 years was 33%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that Randstad has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 13% in the last twelve months. That's including the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 7%. 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. To that end, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Randstad (including 1 which is potentially serious) .
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 NL 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.
Join A Paid User Research Session
You'll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here