Those who invested in Tractor Supply (NASDAQ:TSCO) five years ago are up 174%

Tractor Supply Company -0.06%

Tractor Supply Company

TSCO

282.00

-0.06%

When you buy a stock there is always a possibility that it could drop 100%. But on the bright side, you can make far more than 100% on a really good stock. Long term Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ:TSCO) shareholders would be well aware of this, since the stock is up 155% in five years. It's also good to see the share price up 18% over the last quarter. But this could be related to the strong market, which is up 18% in the last three months.

So let's investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

View our latest analysis for Tractor Supply

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

Over half a decade, Tractor Supply managed to grow its earnings per share at 21% a year. This EPS growth is remarkably close to the 21% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore one could conclude that sentiment towards the shares hasn't morphed very much. Indeed, it would appear the share price is reacting to the EPS.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-per-share-growth
NasdaqGS:TSCO Earnings Per Share Growth January 30th 2024

We know that Tractor Supply has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.

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 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Tractor Supply the TSR over the last 5 years was 174%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

Tractor Supply shareholders are up 3.6% for the year (even including dividends). But that return falls short of the market. If we look back over five years, the returns are even better, coming in at 22% per year for five years. It's quite possible the business continues to execute with prowess, even as the share price gains are slowing. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for Tractor Supply that you should be aware of.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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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