If you buy and hold a stock for many years, you'd hope to be making a profit. Better yet, you'd like to see the share price move up more than the market average. But Balchem Corporation (NASDAQ:BCPC) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 31% over five years, which is below the market return. Zooming in, the stock is up just 3.5% 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 Balchem
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.
Over half a decade, Balchem managed to grow its earnings per share at 0.3% a year. This EPS growth is lower than the 6% average annual increase in the share price. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did five years ago. That's not necessarily surprising considering the five-year track record of earnings growth.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
This free interactive report on Balchem'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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Balchem the TSR over the last 5 years was 35%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Balchem provided a TSR of 4.1% over the last twelve months. But that return falls short of the market. It's probably a good sign that the company has an even better long term track record, having provided shareholders with an annual TSR of 6% over five years. It may well be that this is a business worth popping on the watching, given the continuing positive reception, over time, from the market. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Balchem better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for Balchem you should be aware of.
For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on American 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.