Stock pickers are generally looking for stocks that will outperform the broader market. Buying under-rated businesses is one path to excess returns. For example, the Landmark Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:LARK) share price is up 59% in the last 5 years, clearly besting than the market return of around 41% (ignoring dividends).
Want to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and you could win a $250 gift card!
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
During five years of share price growth, Landmark Bancorp achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 14% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 9.7% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days. The reasonably low P/E ratio of 9.91 also suggests market apprehension.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Landmark 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). 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. We note that for Landmark Bancorp the TSR over the last 5 years was 85%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 5.1% in the last year, Landmark Bancorp shareholders lost 7.7% (even including dividends). 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 13% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. 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.
For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.