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Did Community Trust Bancorp’s Share Price Deserve to Gain 21%?

Simply Wall St

Low-cost index funds make it easy to achieve average market returns. But in any diversified portfolio of stocks, you’ll see some that fall short of the average. That’s what has happened with the Community Trust Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTBI) share price. It’s up 21% over three years, but that is below the market return. Disappointingly, the share price is down 9.0% in the last year.

Check out our latest analysis for Community Trust Bancorp

In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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, Community Trust Bancorp achieved compound earnings per share growth of 7.9% per year. The average annual share price increase of 6.4% is actually lower than the EPS growth. Therefore, it seems the market has moderated its expectations for growth, somewhat.

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

NasdaqGS:CTBI Past and Future Earnings, March 7th 2019

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. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Community Trust Bancorp’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Community Trust Bancorp the TSR over the last 3 years was 32%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

Investors in Community Trust Bancorp had a tough year, with a total loss of 6.2% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 2.6%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 5.3% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares – and the price they paid.

Community Trust Bancorp is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with 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.