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Investing in Cincinnati Financial (NASDAQ:CINF) five years ago would have delivered you a 100% gain

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It might be of some concern to shareholders to see the Cincinnati Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:CINF) share price down 12% in the last month. But the silver lining is the stock is up over five years. However we are not very impressed because the share price is only up 74%, less than the market return of 74%.

So let's investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

Check out our latest analysis for Cincinnati Financial

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, Cincinnati Financial achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 28% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 12% over the same period. So one could conclude that the broader market has become more cautious towards the stock. The reasonably low P/E ratio of 9.59 also suggests market apprehension.

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

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

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. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

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 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Cincinnati Financial's TSR for the last 5 years was 100%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that Cincinnati Financial shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 3.4% over one year. That's including the dividend. However, that falls short of the 15% TSR per annum it has made for shareholders, each year, over five years. Potential buyers might understandably feel they've missed the opportunity, but it's always possible business is still firing on all cylinders. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Cincinnati Financial better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for Cincinnati Financial that you should be aware of.

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.

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.