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Did Southside Bancshares's (NASDAQ:SBSI) Share Price Deserve to Gain 43%?

Simply Wall St

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You can receive the average market return by buying a low-cost index fund. But you can make superior returns by picking better-than average stocks. Notably, the Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI) share price has gained 43% in three years, which is better than the average market return. In contrast, the stock is actually down 1.9% in the last year, suggesting a lack of positive momentum.

View our latest analysis for Southside Bancshares

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, Southside Bancshares achieved compound earnings per share growth of 9.6% per year. In comparison, the 13% per year gain in the share price outpaces the EPS growth. This indicates that the market is feeling more optimistic on the stock, after the last few years of progress. It's not unusual to see the market 're-rate' a stock, after a few years of growth.

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

NasdaqGS:SBSI Past and Future Earnings, April 9th 2019

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Southside Bancshares's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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 or spin-off. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Southside Bancshares, it has a TSR of 57% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Southside Bancshares shareholders gained a total return of 1.6% during the year. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. On the bright side, the longer term returns (running at about 9.3% a year, over half a decade) look better. It's quite possible the business continues to execute with prowess, even as the share price gains are slowing. 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.

Southside 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.