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Artisan Partners Asset Management's (NYSE:APAM) 25% CAGR outpaced the company's earnings growth over the same five-year period

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The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Furthermore, you'd generally like to see the share price rise faster than the market. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:APAM) share price is up 87% in the last five years, that's less than the market return. But if you include dividends then the return is market-beating. Looking at the last year alone, the stock is up 15%.

On the back of a solid 7-day performance, let's check what role the company's fundamentals have played in driving long term shareholder returns.

See our latest analysis for Artisan Partners Asset Management

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

Over half a decade, Artisan Partners Asset Management managed to grow its earnings per share at 18% a year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 13% over the same period. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

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

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Artisan Partners Asset Management the TSR over the last 5 years was 201%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Artisan Partners Asset Management shareholders are up 24% for the year (even including dividends). But that was short of the market average. If we look back over five years, the returns are even better, coming in at 25% per year for five years. It's quite possible the business continues to execute with prowess, even as the share price gains are slowing. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Artisan Partners Asset Management that you should be aware of.

Artisan Partners Asset Management 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.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.