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If You Had Bought Home Federal Bancorp of Louisiana (NASDAQ:HFBL) Shares Five Years Ago You'd Have Made 77%

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Stock pickers are generally looking for stocks that will outperform the broader market. And while active stock picking involves risks (and requires diversification) it can also provide excess returns. To wit, the Home Federal Bancorp of Louisiana share price has climbed 77% in five years, easily topping the market return of 51% (ignoring dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 8.0% in the last year, including dividends.

View our latest analysis for Home Federal Bancorp of Louisiana

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, Home Federal Bancorp of Louisiana achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 15% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 12% over the same period. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days.

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

NasdaqCM:HFBL Past and Future Earnings, April 8th 2019
NasdaqCM:HFBL Past and Future Earnings, April 8th 2019

It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Home Federal Bancorp of Louisiana's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. As it happens, Home Federal Bancorp of Louisiana's TSR for the last 5 years was 91%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Home Federal Bancorp of Louisiana provided a TSR of 8.0% over the last twelve months. But that return falls short of the market. On the bright side, the longer term returns (running at about 14% a year, over half a decade) look better. It may well be that this is a business worth popping on the watching, given the continuing positive reception, over time, from the market. If you would like to research Home Federal Bancorp of Louisiana 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 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.

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.