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If You Had Bought Raven Industries (NASDAQ:RAVN) Shares Three Years Ago You’d Have Made 164%

Simply Wall St

It might seem bad, but the worst that can happen when you buy a stock (without leverage) is that its share price goes to zero. But if you buy shares in a really great company, you can more than double your money. For example, the Raven Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:RAVN) share price has soared 164% in the last three years. How nice for those who held the stock!

See our latest analysis for Raven Industries

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…’ 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.

Raven Industries was able to grow its EPS at 88% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. The average annual share price increase of 38% is actually lower than the EPS growth. Therefore, it seems the market has moderated its expectations for growth, somewhat.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

NasdaqGS:RAVN Past and Future Earnings, March 13th 2019
NasdaqGS:RAVN Past and Future Earnings, March 13th 2019

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. 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 Raven Industries’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Raven Industries the TSR over the last 3 years was 179%, 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

It’s good to see that Raven Industries has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 3.1% in the last twelve months. That’s including the dividend. However, that falls short of the 5.0% TSR per annum it has made for shareholders, each year, over five years. The pessimistic view would be that be that the stock has its best days behind it, but on the other hand the price might simply be moderating while the business itself continues to execute. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares – and the price they paid.

Raven Industries 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.