Relative TSR: Measuring Performance in a Tough Market


Share prices tumbled across indices, industries and regions in 2022, Wall Street’s worst year since 2008. With global disruptions such as the war in Ukraine and sharp interest rate rises driving values down for many companies, it can be difficult for a company and its shareholders to determine how well their managers performed versus comparable businesses. Relative total shareholder return (TSR) has reemerged in recent years as a preeminent management performance measure and a key component in many long-term incentive plans.

ISS Corporate Solutions (ICS) analyzed relative TSR metrics across the S&P 500 to review how companies weathered the storm compared with their peers. We found that less than half (40 percent) of companies maintained the same relative positioning between December 2021 and December 2022, but, as always, high-level aggregate statistics don’t tell the full story.

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