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Investing in Capital Bancorp (NASDAQ:CBNK) three years ago would have delivered you a 92% gain

By buying an index fund, you can roughly match the market return with ease. But if you buy good businesses at attractive prices, your portfolio returns could exceed the average market return. Just take a look at Capital Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBNK), which is up 88%, over three years, soundly beating the market return of 14% (not including dividends).

Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

Check out our latest analysis for Capital Bancorp

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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 three years of share price growth, Capital Bancorp achieved compound earnings per share growth of 29% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 23% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems investors have become more cautious about the company, over time. We'd venture the lowish P/E ratio of 7.32 also reflects the negative sentiment around the stock.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. This free interactive report on Capital Bancorp's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

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 and spin-offs. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Capital Bancorp's TSR for the last 3 years was 92%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

Capital Bancorp shareholders are down 19% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 20%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 9%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Capital Bancorp better, we need to consider many other factors. Even so, be aware that Capital Bancorp is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do 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 American exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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