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Did AstroNova's (NASDAQ:ALOT) Share Price Deserve to Gain 27%?

Simply Wall St

AstroNova, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALOT) shareholders might understandably be very concerned that the share price has dropped 35% in the last quarter. But the silver lining is the stock is up over five years. In that time, it is up 27%, which isn't bad, but is below the market return of 67%.

See our latest analysis for AstroNova

To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

During five years of share price growth, AstroNova achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 13% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 4.9% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

NasdaqGM:ALOT Past and Future Earnings, October 14th 2019

We know that AstroNova has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.

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 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. In the case of AstroNova, it has a TSR of 39% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

AstroNova shareholders are down 19% for the year (even including dividends) , but the market itself is up 9.1%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 6.8%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

We will like AstroNova 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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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. Thank you for reading.