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If You Had Bought Dominion Energy (NYSE:D) Stock Three Years Ago, You Could Pocket A 12% Gain Today

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Investors can buy low cost index fund if they want to receive the average market return. But across the board there are plenty of stocks that underperform the market. For example, the Dominion Energy, Inc. (NYSE:D) share price return of 12% over three years lags the market return in the same period. Unfortunately, the share price has fallen 8.3% over twelve months.

Check out our latest analysis for Dominion Energy

To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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 the last three years, Dominion Energy failed to grow earnings per share, which fell 7.7% (annualized).

The strong decline in earnings per share suggests the market isn't using EPS to judge the company. So we'll need to take a look at some different metrics to try to understand why the share price remains solid.

It may well be that Dominion Energy revenue growth rate of 7.6% over three years has convinced shareholders to believe in a brighter future. In that case, the company may be sacrificing current earnings per share to drive growth, and maybe shareholder's faith in better days ahead will be rewarded.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

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. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Dominion Energy will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).

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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Dominion Energy the TSR over the last 3 years was 28%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

Investors in Dominion Energy had a tough year, with a total loss of 4.9% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 41%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 4%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Even so, be aware that Dominion Energy is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those can't be ignored...

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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 (at) simplywallst.com.