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Earnings Are Growing at Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR) but Shareholders Still Don't Like Its Prospects

Simply Wall St ·  {{timeTz}}

For many investors, the main point of stock picking is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But if you try your hand at stock picking, your risk returning less than the market. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE:QSR) shareholders, since the share price is down 26% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 27%. Even worse, it's down 10% in about a month, which isn't fun at all. But this could be related to poor market conditions -- stocks are down 8.6% in the same time.

Since Restaurant Brands International has shed US$676m from its value in the past 7 days, let's see if the longer term decline has been driven by the business' economics.

See our latest analysis for Restaurant Brands International

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect 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.

Although the share price is down over three years, Restaurant Brands International actually managed to grow EPS by 5.5% per year in that time. Given the share price reaction, one might suspect that EPS is not a good guide to the business performance during the period (perhaps due to a one-off loss or gain). Or else the company was over-hyped in the past, and so its growth has disappointed.

It's worth taking a look at other metrics, because the EPS growth doesn't seem to match with the falling share price.

We note that the dividend seems healthy enough, so that probably doesn't explain the share price drop. Restaurant Brands International has maintained its top line over three years, so we doubt that has shareholders worried. So it might be worth looking at how revenue growth over time, in greater detail.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-and-revenue-growthNYSE:QSR Earnings and Revenue Growth October 3rd 2022

Restaurant Brands International is a well known stock, with plenty of analyst coverage, suggesting some visibility into future growth. Given we have quite a good number of analyst forecasts, it might be well worth checking out this free chart depicting consensus estimates.

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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Restaurant Brands International, it has a TSR of -17% for the last 3 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

While it's certainly disappointing to see that Restaurant Brands International shares lost 11% throughout the year, that wasn't as bad as the market loss of 22%. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it's worse than the annualised loss of 0.8% over the last half decade. While some investors do well specializing in buying companies that are struggling (but nonetheless undervalued), don't forget that Buffett said that 'turnarounds seldom turn'. 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. For example, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Restaurant Brands International (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.

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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