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Carriage Services' (NYSE:CSV) investors will be pleased with their notable 98% return over the last three years

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Carriage Services, Inc. (NYSE:CSV) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 28% in the last month. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last three years have been pleasing. In the last three years the share price is up, 91%: better than the market.

So let's investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

See our latest analysis for Carriage Services

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

During three years of share price growth, Carriage Services achieved compound earnings per share growth of 73% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 24% average annual increase in the share price. So one could reasonably conclude that the market has cooled on the stock.

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 like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. This free interactive report on Carriage Services' earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Carriage Services the TSR over the last 3 years was 98%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that Carriage Services has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 2.5% in the last twelve months. And that does include the dividend. Having said that, the five-year TSR of 9% a year, is even better. Potential buyers might understandably feel they've missed the opportunity, but it's always possible business is still firing on all cylinders. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Carriage Services better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - Carriage Services has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit concerning) we think you should know about.

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.