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If You Had Bought IDACORP (NYSE:IDA) Shares Five Years Ago You'd Have Made 80%

Simply Wall St

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Generally speaking the aim of active stock picking is to find companies that provide returns that are superior to the market average. And while active stock picking involves risks (and requires diversification) it can also provide excess returns. For example, the IDACORP, Inc. (NYSE:IDA) share price is up 80% in the last 5 years, clearly besting than the market return of around 50% (ignoring dividends). On the other hand, the more recent gains haven't been so impressive, with shareholders gaining just 15%, including dividends.

See our latest analysis for IDACORP

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect 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.

During five years of share price growth, IDACORP achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 4.3% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 12% average annual increase in the share price. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. And that's hardly shocking given the track record of growth.

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

NYSE:IDA Past and Future Earnings, April 5th 2019

It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on IDACORP'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 IDACORP, it has a TSR of 107% for the last 5 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 IDACORP shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 15% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. Having said that, the five-year TSR of 16% a year, is even better. If you would like to research IDACORP in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.

We will like IDACORP better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

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.