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Agnico Eagle Mines (NYSE:AEM) adds US$1.4b to market cap in the past 7 days, though investors from three years ago are still down 17%

As an investor its worth striving to ensure your overall portfolio beats the market average. But the risk of stock picking is that you will likely buy under-performing companies. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE:AEM) shareholders, since the share price is down 22% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 27%. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 11% in the last three months. However, one could argue that the price has been influenced by the general market, which is down 6.1% in the same timeframe.

Although the past week has been more reassuring for shareholders, they're still in the red over the last three years, so let's see if the underlying business has been responsible for the decline.

View our latest analysis for Agnico Eagle Mines

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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).

During five years of share price growth, Agnico Eagle Mines moved from a loss to profitability. We would usually expect to see the share price rise as a result. So it's worth looking at other metrics to try to understand the share price move.

We note that, in three years, revenue has actually grown at a 25% annual rate, so that doesn't seem to be a reason to sell shares. It's probably worth investigating Agnico Eagle Mines further; while we may be missing something on this analysis, there might also be an opportunity.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. If you are thinking of buying or selling Agnico Eagle Mines stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Agnico Eagle Mines the TSR over the last 3 years was -17%, 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

While it's certainly disappointing to see that Agnico Eagle Mines shares lost 15% throughout the year, that wasn't as bad as the market loss of 22%. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 0.1%, each year, over five years. It could be that the business is just facing some short term problems, but shareholders should keep a close eye on the fundamentals. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Agnico Eagle Mines better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should learn about the 4 warning signs we've spotted with Agnico Eagle Mines (including 1 which is significant) .

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.

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.

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