Stocks for the Long Run: Casey's General Stores vs. the S&P 500

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Investing isn't easy. Even Warren Buffett counsels that most investors should invest in a low-cost index like the S&P 500. That way, "you'll be buying into a wonderful industry, which in effect is all of American industry," he says.

But there are, of course, companies whose long-term fortunes differ substantially from the index. In this series, we look at how individual stocks have performed against the broad S&P 500.

Step on up, Casey's General Stores (NAS: CASY) .                 


Casey's General Stores shares have easily outperformed the S&P 500 over the last quarter-century, with most of the outperformance occurring in the last few years:

Source: S&P Capital IQ.

Since 1987, shares have returned an average of 12.3% a year, compared with 9.7% a year for the S&P (both include dividends). That difference adds up fast. One thousand dollars invested in the S&P in 1987 would be worth $19,200 today. In Casey's General Stores, it'd be worth $41,000.  

Dividends accounted for a lot of those gains. Compounded since 1987, dividends have made up 17% of Casey's General Stores' total returns. For the S&P, dividends account for 39% of total returns.

Now have a look at how Casey's General Stores earnings compare with S&P 500 earnings:

Source: S&P Capital IQ.

Pretty good outperformance. Since 1995, Casey's General Stores earnings per share have increased by 11.8% per year, compared with 6% a year for the broader index.

Through it all, shares have been strong performers over the last quarter-century.  

Of course, the important question is whether that will continue. That's where you come in. Our CAPS community currently ranks Casey's General Stores with a four-star rating (out of five). Care to disagree? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below, or add Casey's General Stores to My Watchlist.

The article Stocks for the Long Run: Casey's General Stores vs. the S&P 500 originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributorMorgan Houseldoesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Follow him on Twitter @TMFHousel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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