If you want to compound wealth in the stock market, you can do so by buying an index fund. But you can do a lot better than that by buying good quality businesses for attractive prices. For example, the Evans Bancorp, Inc. (NYSEMKT:EVBN) share price is 62% higher than it was five years ago, which is more than the market average. We're also happy to report the stock is up a healthy 23% in the last year.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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).
During five years of share price growth, Evans Bancorp achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 15% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 10% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 11.04.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We know that Evans Bancorp has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? If you're interested, you could check this free report showing consensus revenue forecasts.
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 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Evans Bancorp, it has a TSR of 84% for the last 5 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
Evans Bancorp provided a TSR of 27% over the last twelve months. But that return falls short of the market. The silver lining is that the gain was actually better than the average annual return of 13% per year over five year. It is possible that returns will improve along with the business fundamentals. If you would like to research Evans Bancorp in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
If you are like me, then you will 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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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