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Hanesbrands (NYSE:HBI) shareholders have endured a 12% loss from investing in the stock five years ago

For many, the main point of investing is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. So we wouldn't blame long term Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE:HBI) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 26% over a half decade. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 10% in the last 90 days. This could be related to the recent financial results - you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report.

It's worthwhile assessing if the company's economics have been moving in lockstep with these underwhelming shareholder returns, or if there is some disparity between the two. So let's do just that.

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.

During the five years over which the share price declined, Hanesbrands' earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 24% each year. The share price decline of 6% per year isn't as bad as the EPS decline. The relatively muted share price reaction might be because the market expects the business to turn around. With a P/E ratio of 50.93, it's fair to say the market sees a brighter future for the business.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-per-share-growthNYSE:HBI Earnings Per Share Growth November 25th 2021

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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Hanesbrands' earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Hanesbrands' TSR for the last 5 years was -12%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

Hanesbrands provided a TSR of 22% over the last twelve months. But that return falls short of the market. But at least that's still a gain! Over five years the TSR has been a reduction of 2% per year, over five years. It could well be that the business is stabilizing. 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. Take risks, for example - Hanesbrands has 4 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

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.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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