These days it's easy to simply buy an index fund, and your returns should (roughly) match the market. But investors can boost returns by picking market-beating companies to own shares in. To wit, the American Vanguard Corporation (NYSE:AVD) share price is 46% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market decline of around 21% (not including dividends) in the same period. If it can keep that out-performance up over the long term, investors will do very well! It is also impressive that the stock is up 32% over three years, adding to the sense that it is a real winner.
Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
American Vanguard was able to grow EPS by 32% in the last twelve months. The share price gain of 46% certainly outpaced the EPS growth. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it a year ago.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that American Vanguard has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 47% in the last twelve months. Of course, that includes the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 4% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.
American Vanguard is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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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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