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Should Equitable Group (TSE:EQB) Be Disappointed With Their 26% Profit?

Simply Wall St

By buying an index fund, you can roughly match the market return with ease. But many of us dare to dream of bigger returns, and build a portfolio ourselves. Just take a look at Equitable Group Inc. (TSE:EQB), which is up 26%, over three years, soundly beating the market return of 15% (not including dividends).

See our latest analysis for Equitable Group

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 imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.

Equitable Group was able to grow its EPS at 7.5% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. We note that the 8.0% 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. Quite to the contrary, the share price has arguably reflected the EPS growth.

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

TSX:EQB Past and Future Earnings, March 18th 2019

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. 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 Equitable Group’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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Equitable Group, it has a TSR of 32% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It’s nice to see that Equitable Group shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 24% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 4.4% per year), it would seem that the stock’s performance has improved in recent times. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. 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 CA 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.