The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. But more than that, you probably want to see it rise more than the market average. But Trustmark Corporation (NASDAQ:TRMK) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 36% over five years, which is below the market return. Some buyers are laughing, though, with an increase of 28% in the last year.
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.
Over half a decade, Trustmark managed to grow its earnings per share at 12% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 6% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 10.51.
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. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. This free interactive report on Trustmark's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. In the case of Trustmark, it has a TSR of 58% 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
Trustmark shareholders are up 32% for the year (even including dividends). But that return falls short of the market. The silver lining is that the gain was actually better than the average annual return of 10% per year over five year. This suggests the company might be improving over time. 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 2 warning signs for Trustmark (of which 1 can't be ignored!) you should know about.
But note: Trustmark may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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.
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