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Did You Miss Huntington Bancshares's (NASDAQ:HBAN) 40% Share Price Gain?

Simply Wall St

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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. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (NASDAQ:HBAN) share price is up 40% in the last three years, that falls short of the market return. Unfortunately, the share price has fallen 11% over twelve months.

View our latest analysis for Huntington Bancshares

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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.

Huntington Bancshares was able to grow its EPS at 14% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. We note that the 12% yearly (average) share price gain isn't too far from the EPS growth rate. Coincidence? Probably not. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time. Rather, the share price has approximately tracked EPS growth.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

NasdaqGS:HBAN Past and Future Earnings, April 3rd 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. This free interactive report on Huntington Bancshares's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Huntington Bancshares's TSR for the last 3 years was 53%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 10% in the last year, Huntington Bancshares shareholders lost 7.7% (even including dividends). 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 8.8%, 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. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

Huntington Bancshares 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.