When you buy and hold a stock for the long term, you definitely want it to provide a positive return. But more than that, you probably want to see it rise more than the market average. But Chemung Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:CHMG) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 50% over five years, which is below the market return. The last year has been disappointing, with the stock price down 0.5% in that time.
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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, Chemung Financial achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 26% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 8.4% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 11.79.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that Chemung Financial has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? If you're interested, you could check this free report showing consensus revenue 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Chemung Financial the TSR over the last 5 years was 73%, 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
Chemung Financial shareholders are up 1.8% for the year (even including dividends) . But that was short of the market average. On the bright side, the longer term returns (running at about 12% a year, over half a decade) look better. It may well be that this is a business worth popping on the watching, given the continuing positive reception, over time, from the market. Before spending more time on Chemung Financial it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.
We will like Chemung Financial better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
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