When you buy a stock there is always a possibility that it could drop 100%. But on the bright side, you can make far more than 100% on a really good stock. For example, the ServisFirst Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFBS) share price has soared 142% in the last half decade. Most would be very happy with that.
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.
Over half a decade, ServisFirst Bancshares managed to grow its earnings per share at 21% a year. This EPS growth is reasonably close to the 19% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore one could conclude that sentiment towards the shares hasn't morphed very much. Rather, the share price has approximately tracked EPS growth.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on ServisFirst Bancshares'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. 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, ServisFirst Bancshares's TSR for the last 5 years was 153%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
ServisFirst Bancshares shareholders gained a total return of 11% during the year. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. It's probably a good sign that the company has an even better long term track record, having provided shareholders with an annual TSR of 20% over five years. It may well be that this is a business worth popping on the watching, given the continuing positive reception, over time, from the market. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of ServisFirst Bancshares by clicking this link.
ServisFirst Bancshares is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with 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.
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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