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Exponent's (NASDAQ:EXPO) Investors Will Be Pleased With Their Strong 152% Return Over the Last Five Years

Simply Wall St ·  {{timeTz}}

It might be of some concern to shareholders to see the Exponent, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO) share price down 12% in the last month. But that doesn't change the fact that shareholders have received really good returns over the last five years. Indeed, the share price is up an impressive 140% in that time. We think it's more important to dwell on the long term returns than the short term returns. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price. While the long term returns are impressive, we do have some sympathy for those who bought more recently, given the 26% drop, in the last year.

Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

View our latest analysis for Exponent

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.

During five years of share price growth, Exponent achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 15% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 19% average annual increase in the share price. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. That's not necessarily surprising considering the five-year track record of earnings growth. This optimism is visible in its fairly high P/E ratio of 45.18.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growthNasdaqGS:EXPO Earnings Per Share Growth September 24th 2022

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Exponent's TSR for the last 5 years was 152%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 22% in the twelve months, Exponent shareholders did even worse, losing 25% (even including dividends). However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 20% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Exponent better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should be aware of the 1 warning sign we've spotted with Exponent .

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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

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