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Does Century Bancorp's (NASDAQ:CNBK.A) Share Price Gain of 93% Match Its Business Performance?

Simply Wall St
·3 min read

When we invest, we're generally looking for stocks that outperform the market average. And the truth is, you can make significant gains if you buy good quality businesses at the right price. For example, long term Century Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:CNBK.A) shareholders have enjoyed a 93% share price rise over the last half decade, well in excess of the market return of around 67% (not including dividends).

View our latest analysis for Century Bancorp

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

Over half a decade, Century Bancorp managed to grow its earnings per share at 13% a year. So the EPS growth rate is rather close to the annualized share price gain of 14% per year. This indicates that investor sentiment towards the company has not changed a great deal. Rather, the share price has approximately tracked EPS growth.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. This free interactive report on Century Bancorp's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

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 or spin-off. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Century Bancorp's TSR for the last 5 years was 100%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

Investors in Century Bancorp had a tough year, with a total loss of 11% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 21%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 15% 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. 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.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.