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Arch Capital Group's (NASDAQ:ACGL) five-year earnings growth trails the 10% YoY shareholder returns

·2 min read

If you buy and hold a stock for many years, you'd hope to be making a profit. Better yet, you'd like to see the share price move up more than the market average. But Arch Capital Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:ACGL) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 64% over five years, which is below the market return. Some buyers are laughing, though, with an increase of 39% in the last year.

Since the stock has added US$824m to its market cap in the past week alone, let's see if underlying performance has been driving long-term returns.

Check out our latest analysis for Arch Capital Group

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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.

During five years of share price growth, Arch Capital Group achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 31% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 10% over the same period. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days. The reasonably low P/E ratio of 8.30 also suggests market apprehension.

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

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We know that Arch Capital Group has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Arch Capital Group shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 39% over the last year. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 10% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. To that end, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Arch Capital Group (including 1 which is potentially serious) .

If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.

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.

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