Investing in Toro (NYSE:TTC) five years ago would have delivered you a 33% gain

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When you buy and hold a stock for the long term, you definitely want it to provide a positive return. But more than that, you probably want to see it rise more than the market average. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the The Toro Company (NYSE:TTC) share price is up 24% in the last five years, that’s less than the market return. Unfortunately the share price is down 16% in the last year.

So let’s assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 5 years and see if they’ve moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.

View our latest analysis for Toro

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.

Toro’s earnings per share are down 1.1% per year, despite strong share price performance over five years.

Since EPS is down a bit, and the share price is up, it’s probably that the market previously had some concerns about the company, but the reality has been better than feared. Having said that, if the EPS falls continue we’d be surprised to see a sustained increase in share price.

The company’s earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-per-share-growth

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Toro’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. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Toro, it has a TSR of 33% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Investors in Toro had a tough year, with a total loss of 15% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 28%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 6% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Toro better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we’ve discovered 4 warning signs for Toro that you should be aware of before investing here.

Toro is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on American 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.