U.S. Markets open in 8 hrs 53 mins

If You Had Bought ConnectOne Bancorp (NASDAQ:CNOB) Stock Three Years Ago, You Could Pocket A 40% Gain Today

Simply Wall St

Want to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and you could win a $250 gift card!

You can receive the average market return by buying a low-cost index fund. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. Notably, the ConnectOne Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:CNOB) share price has gained 40% in three years, which is better than the average market return. In contrast, the stock is actually down 7.5% in the last year, suggesting a lack of positive momentum.

Check out our latest analysis for ConnectOne Bancorp

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just 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.

ConnectOne Bancorp was able to grow its EPS at 14% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. The average annual share price increase of 12% is actually lower than the EPS growth. So it seems investors have become more cautious about the company, over time. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 11.33.

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

NasdaqGS:CNOB Past and Future Earnings, July 13th 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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of ConnectOne Bancorp's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of ConnectOne Bancorp, it has a TSR of 45% 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

While the broader market gained around 7.0% in the last year, ConnectOne Bancorp shareholders lost 6.1% (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 4.7% 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. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of ConnectOne Bancorp by clicking this link.

ConnectOne Bancorp is not the only stock that insiders are buying. 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 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.